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Innovation in Greater Manchester: Have your say

Call for SME leaders to help shape forthcoming business support programmes and policy

Here is a unique opportunity to have your say in what innovation support and investment should look like for your business. Register now for one of the roundtables running throughout February and March in Bolton, Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Stockport and Oldham.


How innovation support helps your business | Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem | Support for all businesses | FAQs | Innovation case studies



GC Business Growth Hub is working in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority to help shape future support and funding for SMEs in the city-region.

A key part of this is an exciting new Innovation Accelerator project to support business and research, complementing the vision set out in Greater Manchester’s Innovation Plan to put the city-region at the forefront of global progress.

Ahead of the project’s launch in April 2023, we are asking for insight from SMEs into the opportunities and challenges you currently face, and the support needed to drive business investment in R&D and innovation. If you’re a business leader who works in, or with, one of Greater Manchester’s four ‘frontier’ sectors, then register here to have your say:

  • Advanced Materials and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Digital and Creative
  • Health Innovation and Life Sciences
  • Net Zero

Scroll down for more about Greater Manchester’s frontier sectors and innovation ecosystem

Our aim is to capture the ‘voice of business’, ensuring that input is received direct from those operating at the coal face. By participating, you’ll be making a crucial contribution to what future assistance and funding for SMEs looks like, as well as helping to shape best practice and policy.

With our partners, we have already hosted lively discussions across Greater Manchester in January – don’t miss out on the chance to participate in one of the remaining roundtables, which are led by sector specialists. See the full programme of events below.



Pressing the accelerator: talking innovation eco-systems with Salma Chaudhry

Read our Innovation Accelerator Q&A with Salma Chaudhry, Innovation Network Manager 


How innovation support helps your business



Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem



You only need to look along the Oxford Road Corridor or go to the Salford Innovation Triangle to get a feel for the internationally recognised R&D bodies, highly skilled people, major global businesses, and innovative SMEs that reside in Greater Manchester.

The Innovation Accelerator aims to help maximise the potential of SMEs in Greater Manchester by creating the conditions for businesses, universities and other research bodies, public sector organisations, and professional and local networks to work together; sharing knowledge, collaborating to address challenges, and creating new commercial opportunities.

Why? As identified by the Government’s Levelling-Up White Paper (2022) and Greater Manchester’s Innovation Plan, a thriving innovation ecosystem will lead to more high-quality jobs and more productive firms across all parts of the city-region and in all sectors. It will improve the lives of people across all communities, thanks to increased skills, better opportunities, as well as resulting improvements to health and reduced inequality.

Below is a snapshot of the innovation assets that can provide specialist support to SMEs:



Advanced Materials and Advanced Manufacturing


Digital and Creative


Health Innovation and Life Sciences


Net Zero


Support for all businesses



Expert support, funding and tailored resources exist for all SMEs in Greater Manchester,

Areas you can receive support with include: addressing technical challenges with short or long-term solutions; accessing research or testing; transferring knowledge, data and expertise into your business; and access to innovation funding and supporting your application.

Email and connect with your local innovation advisor and find out more.





What does the Innovation Accelerator mean for my business?


There are so many different organisations listed. How do I know where to start, or who to contact?


My business isn’t at the cutting edge, so how is innovation relevant?


I still don’t understand why innovation ecosystems are important?

Innovation case studies



Hear from SMEs in Greater Manchester that have benefitted from putting innovation at the forefront of their business models. If you work in one of these sectors then register your interest in our Innovation Accelerator roundtables here.

Adv. Materials & Manufacturing Adv. Materials & Manufacturing

Innovation Vouchers help fund University link-up for Trafford SME

M&I Materials
Digital & Creative Digital & Creative

Oldham software developers benefit from University collaboration

System Pioneer
Health Innovation & Life Sciences Health Innovation & Life Sciences

Funding and access to networks boosts Eccles based company

Innovate Pharmaceuticals
Net Zero Net Zero

KTP helps company work towards reducing environmental impacts.

UBU Environmental

Innovation Grapevine

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