SMEs involved in road, rail and aerospace equipment manufacture can apply for research and innovation help from a £1.3m fund, financed via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Catalysing Growth through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing project will be delivered by the University of Derby and Loughborough University.
It will cost £2.7m in total – £1.3m of that coming via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) portion of D2N2’s allocation of €251m in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and the remainder from the two universities’ investment.
D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership of business; local authorities; skills, and training providers, and community and social enterprises which promotes economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
With the project is due to begin in Summer 2016, SMEs working in the transport equipment manufacturing sector can access intensive research and innovation support from the University of Derby and Loughborough University.
Help will be given to main manufacturers and supply chain firms providing them with materials, services and technical support in an effort to boost their competitiveness, providing more efficient manufacturing processes and products, to strengthen companies’ turnover and create jobs.
The universities will help businesses identify areas where they could work with other SMEs or research institutes. Loughborough University will supply grants to assist SMEs to get specialist support in the UK and Europe.
The University of Derby will provide direct research and development consultancy help; to address technical and design issues, prototyping and tooling equipment upgrades. This will develop knowledge in the Transport Equipment Manufacturing sector, by providing it with additional intensive support.
The announcement follows recent news that another three-year project – Enabling Innovation – to be delivered by D2N2 LEP area universities Derby, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, will also help more than 2,000 SMEs with research and innovation.
This project will cost £20.3m in total, £10.1m of that again coming via D2N2’s ERDF allocation and the remainder from the universities delivering the project.
The D2N2 Growth Hub will be supporting both projects, in helping those delivering them engage with SMEs. The Growth Hub supports new and established SMEs with help in business strategy and growth, marketing, networking and accessing funding for expansion; using its regional and national business networks to enable businesses to find the right help.