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New innovation vouchers launched for Greater Manchester SMEs

The Business Growth Hub has joined up with the University of Manchester to offer match funding of up to £10,000 for SMEs seeking to develop an innovative new product, service or process.

The Business Growth Hub has joined up with the University of Manchester to offer match funding of up to £10,000 for SMEs seeking to develop an innovative new product, service or process. 

Successful applicants of the pilot voucher competition will receive 50 per cent funding support of up to £5,000 to be used within a department or faculty within the University of Manchester, as well as specialist expertise from the Business Growth Hub’s Innovation Growth service.

Typical vouchers may include:

  • Access to technical or technology specialists from the University of Manchester
  • Access to specialist testing equipment or machinery
  • Market research
  • Data testing and analysis for new product development
  • Product, process or service design
  • Intellectual property
  • Market exploitation 

‘Fantastic opportunity’

It is hoped the competition will encourage collaboration between SMEs and the university to exploit knowledge and solve innovation challenges.

Matthew Crimes, senior innovation advisor at the Business Growth Hub, said: “This innovation voucher pilot is a fantastic opportunity for SMEs within Greater Manchester to collaborate with the University of Manchester.

“We are seeking eligible businesses that are developing a new product, service, process or business model that might be encountering a technical or technological challenge in order to unlock their innovation potential.”

Eligibility

The competition is limited to Greater Manchester based SMEs only, with the first round of funding targeted at projects within the advanced materials and manufacturing sectors. 

It is specifically designed for businesses ineligible for, or unsuccessful in, accessing national funding support from Innovate UK.

How to apply

Round one of the competition is open from 26 January to 27 February. For more information or to speak to an Innovation Growth advisor, please contact the Business Growth Hub on 0161 359 3050 or visit the website

Demand is expected to be high, so businesses are advised to apply as soon as possible.