Lancaster University is inviting SMEs with innovative green ideas to tap into a three-year programme of funded research and development valued at £100,000.
The award-winning Centre for Global Eco-innovation (CGE) at Lancaster University aims to help companies that have ambitions to develop an environmental service, product or process but lack the in-house research expertise to pursue their idea. Businesses across Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and the Liverpool City Region may be eligible.
As part of the programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), each successful applicant will be matched with a graduate to take their research idea forward on a full-time basis for up to three years.
Successful businesses will also have access to a range of high-tech facilities, including cyber-security, chemistry, glasshouse spaces, and additive manufacturing labs, among others.
Over the last four years, the centre has worked with 300 SMEs, including 54 long-term R&D projects undertaken at PhD level.
The most recent programme of support created 308 jobs and generated 190 new products and services. Projects included solutions ranging from an environmentally-friendly de-icer treatment for aircraft to a smart city app for mobiles.
Dr Andy Pickard, manager of CGE, said: “Businesses have usually got a vast number of good ideas for innovation; what they haven’t got is the time and the resource to develop them.
“This scheme provides both: it gives companies the services of a dedicated PhD researcher, supervised by a world-leading academic, as well as access to the facilities and expertise of a top ten university.”
“[It is] ideal for businesses that have a great idea that they would love to pursue but who are too busy focusing on the day job. Or it could be that a business recognises that the market place is changing and needs someone to be looking ahead and identifying new opportunities.”
Successful projects will be selected on a competitive basis, with more than 100 businesses having already registered their idea.
Shorter-term funded projects, internships, product development, technology assessment and access to other facilities are also available for eligible companies.
Meanwhile, SMEs in Greater Manchester can qualify for fully-funded eco innovation support from the Business Growth Hub. For more information, click here.