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Benefits

  • Develop new or improved products or services
  • Identify new markets
  • Adopt new processes or technologies
  • Tap into leading knowledge, facilities and equipment
  • Turn ideas and opportunities into sales
  • Access research and development grant funding
  • Reach finance and investment providers
  • Over 2,000 businesses supported
  • More then 200 R&D collaborations with leading research and technology organisations
  • £2m innovation grant funding
  • 250+ new products and services created

Successes

Beer Piper: We helped turn a pipe dream into reality for a cutting edge SME with over £15k in grants 

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Events

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Resources

Explore the latest insights, advice and data – all filterable, so that you can keep on top of the issues and emerging trends relevant to your business.

Get in touch

See how we can make your innovations, reality
Speak to our team, at no charge, today.

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FAQs

Innovation is about turning an idea into reality. It’s about introducing something new or improved to your business, whether that’s a product line, process or strategy. Innovation is not the exclusive domain of global giants; any business of any size, working in any sector, can begin to do things differently.  In terms of measuring innovation, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; some businesses find that tangible measures work, such as: R&D spend (the higher the spend, the more innovative the company is being); R&D tax credits (these reward spending on innovation); intellectual property created (patents filed, designs registered designs etc); and new products/services launched. Others focus on the value of their human capital, and how creative their workforce is.   
Read what other business leaders say: What is innovation?

Start by contacting us. We’ll ask you about your business and your aspirations. The journey to getting new ideas moving is not a linear one; our approach starts with an ‘Innovation Canvas’ – a tool to help businesses understand where they are on this journey and give them a realistic innovation strategy that has a measurable beginning, middle and end. After we’ve connected, our specialist advisors will use proven tools and techniques to support you on a number of areas. What we don’t do is come storming in with big size 12s and tell you how to do your job. We work with you to understand your challenges and become a catalyst for transforming your business. 

Not having the right knowledge, skills or facilities can really hold back your business – and accessing specialist knowhow in organisations outside of your own supplier base can be transformational. Strategic collaborations can provide a myriad of benefits in supporting companies to bring new or improved products and services to market. They can help your idea to gain momentum, accelerate R&D, shorten your time to market, and clarify the impact of future technological change.
 
Equally, there are large companies out there looking for your expertise who are ready to be connected; with bigger firms looking to harness the agility and specialisms of smaller businesses, who themselves are able to benefit from access to new revenue streams, such relationships can be win-win. We can help you access this leading knowledge, facilities and equipment.

We facilitate access to a wide range of research and development grant funding through a variety of schemes. Working with partners such as Innovate UK and Horizon 2020, we’ll help you to identify the most appropriate route – from start-up funding to collaborative projects involving small businesses, large companies, universities, and research organisations. We can also provide support with application ideation, reviews and comments. 
 
Additionally, our Innovation Voucher scheme can help you to get the funding you need to access expert support. The scheme allows businesses to apply for up to £5,000 funding to access expertise, research and specialist facilities to accelerate the development of innovative products and services. This provides an opportunity to develop a new, long term and sustainable partnership with a university or a recognised research organisation.

Digital technologies can improve business performance in many ways, improving efficiency, customer experience, competitiveness and decision-making, through for example:
·    Enhanced sales automation
·    Advanced data capture and super slick customer service
·    Intelligent project and resource management
·    Enabling highly flexible working and better collaboration
 
We can get you up to speed with the key digital topics and critical digital technologies – getting you energised and equipped for successful digital transformation. And for those already progressing along their digital journey, we’ll take you on a deeper dive. We’ll help you to break down the costs, price up the technologies, factor in ongoing costs, and consider hidden extras – so you can focus on what’s going to bring the most value for your business.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly become a valuable tool for businesses to use, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Read our top tips here: How to use AI for your business.

Make sure you sign up to receive our Innovation newsletter, which will give you all the latest funding opportunities, insight, news and dates for your diary. Also, keep a close eye on our Resources, which contains the latest insight and funding opportunities.   
 
And here are some social media handles to follow:  
·    Twitter / X: @BizGrowthHub @CMDigitalNW @YvonneGrady00 
·    LinkedIn: @gcbusinessgrowthhub @cmsocialmediauk @dharmanurse @stephaniestafford  @stephenslate @yvonnegrady

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