LONDON A programme designed to help growth companies in the South East of England gain access to resources and funding for innovation is appealing for ambitious electronics firms to take part and the South East Development Agency (SEEDA) has put in £2.5million to support the effort.
The aim of the Innovation Advisory Service is to help technology-based companies identify and exploit major growth opportunities and strengthen their own innovation and R&D capability. Support would include helping firms apply for funding, secure new business opportunities, investigate new technologies and access the latest research.
Eligible businesses should have an operating base in the South East and ideally have 30 or more employees in order to benefit fully from this service. They can call on up to 10 days of free and focused advice from experienced innovation advisors who have access to the best resources available in the region.
This initiative brings together for the first time a partnership of the U.K.’s experts in innovation and research and development (R&D). The service is managed by Oxford Innovation, who will deliver it in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory, CLIK, the technology transfer arm of the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and TTI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco plc.
As well as benefiting from the advisors’ own director-level business experience, firms will be able to use a series of Innovation Toolkits including technology assessment, marketing of innovation, process management, corporate venturing and project management. The Service also intends to make it easier for the transfer of knowledge between the academic and business communities at both regional and national level.
While the The Innovation Advisory Service is available now, it will be officially launched on April 4 at the Williams FI Conference Centre in Grove, Oxfordshire – with keynote speakers Sir Digby Jones – Director-General of the CBI – and technology entrepreneur Richard Noble OBE.