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Innovation

Partnerships can aid innovation

Over the last year, you will have seen media coverage for eye-catching developments in electric vehicles, with organisations like Tesla in the US leading the way with massive investment in research, vast new factories and advances in battery technology. The level of ambition and progress being made is truly inspiring, writes Chris Greenhalgh, head of innovation at Business Growth Hub.

Such major endeavours require not just commitment and huge amounts of funding, they require access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise from a whole range of organisations outside of the organisation, specialist suppliers, academics and investors who all contribute towards addressing the challenge.

The key point here is that by being open obtaining this influx of knowledge ensures better outcomes can be achieved, filling gaps in know-how through collaboration. Organisations like these have any number of challenges in developing their market-leading products and services, a lot of the solutions will have been discovered through partnership working and the sharing of knowledge and experience.

Working in this way offers many benefits and the opportunities to harness this are not limited to a large technically complex project like electric vehicles, the principles apply equally as much to businesses of all sizes wanting to work out anything from identifying market opportunities, to understanding how you might translate these opportunities into new products and services.

In Greater Manchester, across the Northern Powerhouse and nationally there is a wealth of expertise within our entrepreneurial businesses, universities and many specialist organisations that could be used to support innovation in your business. Reaching out to form new partnerships is one way to overcome businesses challenges that are really holding back new opportunities and growth.

We know many of the ambitious businesses we support recognise the potential benefits of collaboration, but how you find the right resources can be a challenge in itself. In response, at the Business Growth Hub our Innovation Teams aim is to make it easier to find the right partners and collaboration opportunities that will enable you to innovate and grow your business more effectively turning new insights into bottom line benefits.

To help with getting going, Innovation Vouchers of up to £5,000 are available for eligible SMEs looking to work with our four Greater Manchester universities.

You don’t need to be aiming for developing the latest electric vehicles to innovate, of course, our own new product and services development is challenging enough for most of us.

To see how we can help you find the right partner, please contact our Innovation team.

If you'd like to discover more methods to develop your innovation strategy, Enquire & Grow today.

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Chris Greenhalgh

Chris Greenhalgh, Head of Innovation and Programme Development

Joining the Manchester Growth Company in 2011 as the Business Growth Hub Manager, Chris was instrumental in developing the Hub’s growth services, from initial design through to the current level of activity.

Following the significant expansion of the Hub over the last two years, Chris’s current role gives him responsibility for the development of future Hub programmes, Innovation services and partner development. He also supports the contract management of the Hub’s ERDF and RGF funded growth programme.

Chris previously worked at various senior levels in the private and public sectors, designing and implementing business innovation services and finance products at a local, regional and European level.