£4.6m project launched to enhance research, innovation and productivity in local businesses

Professor Dame Jessica Corner
Small and medium sized businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be able to access free research, innovation and productivity support with a new £4.6m project being run by the University of Nottingham.


Driving Research & Innovation is a three-year collaborative programme involving the Precision Manufacturing Centre, Chemistry Innovation Laboratory and Food Innovation Centre at the university, which will provide support to 240 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

£2.3m funding is being awarded to the University via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), using funds secured by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with an additional £2.3m being invested in the project by the University.

The project is available to SME businesses from all sectors, and as a collaboration between three centres includes a focus on food and drink, chemistry using businesses, and engineering and manufacturing. Driving Research and Innovation will aim to help businesses improve their innovation culture, competitiveness and productivity through utilising the knowledge, skills and technology accessible to SMEs through the University.

The innovation and productivity challenges of every business are to be addressed through collaborative R&D projects to produce new products, processes and services, interactive workshops, dissemination events, and one-to-one consultancy designed to help businesses innovate, explore new ideas and grow.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner said: “This project represents an exciting opportunity for businesses to tap into the world-class expertise and technology available at the University, and to examine how their businesses can adopt a culture of innovation to aid growth and enhance productivity. It builds upon our very successful ‘Enabling Innovation’ project which supported more than 2,000 local SMEs within Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as part of the project.”