Financial support for small businesses to access University expertise

Financial support for small businesses to access University expertise

Issued: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 14:47:00 GMT

How can Scotland’s smaller companies afford the necessary innovative research and development to give themselves a competitive edge in these straitened times?

Glasgow University’s new Innovation Network - working in partnership with small businesses - aims to provide the answer by helping to increase levels of innovation and product development, reduce time to market and introduce businesses to new supply chains.

Most importantly, the Innovation Network offers financial support of up to £5,000 for feasibility studies between the University and SMEs to stimulate academic and industrial engagement.

Professor Steve Beaumont, University of Glasgow said: “Through the use of low-cost knowledge transfer mechanisms such as short-term student projects, academic consultancy and feasibility studies, the Innovation Network give companies the opportunity, at no cost to them, to start building a partnership with the University which could assist their long-term sustainability.”

The Network is a £2.7M initiative – funded by European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government’s SEEKIT Programme - designed to increase engagement by Scottish companies in innovation, product development and new supply chains by collaborating with the University.

Micro and Small Enterprises seeking innovation assistance from universities are often unable to bear the full cost of a contract research project and current knowledge transfer support schemes may also be beyond their budgets.

The Innovation Network will work to help remove these barriers to innovation for Micro and Small Enterprises.

Strong encouragement will be given to projects that assess both the potential and feasibility of a new product or process and lead to opportunities to attract follow-on funding from existing sources, demonstrate a clear route to market or indicate a step change in current processes within a Micro or Small Enterprise.

Further information:

Louise O’Neill, 0141 330 2730 or email l.oneill@enterprise.gla.ac.uk.
Web pages:  www.glasgow.ac.uk/businessandindustry