Five technical centres have been integrated into the programme; these include:
- Satellite Navigation
- Food & Brewing
Each is staffed with business development personnel targeted to support and assist regional SMEs. Further details are summarised in the following sections…
A number of core University activities have been embedded into the programme; these include:
- Innovation Vouchers
- Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
- Knowledge Dissemination
- Enterprise Creation
Each will deliver business benefits supplementing the offer from the technical centres. Further details are summarised below…
The University of Nottingham’s Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT) is an internationally-leading centre for aerospace research, with a substantial research portfolio related to aerospace applications and technologies. With a broad research base involving over 50 academic researchers and a number of internationally-leading groups, the IAT collaborates with businesses ranging from local aerospace-related SMEs to major multinationals, such as Rolls Royce, Airbus, and Boeing. Based in the Aerospace Technology Centre, the IAT are well-equipped to assist businesses to innovate and to partner with businesses of all sizes in the aerospace industry.
Placed second for research quality in the 2008 RAE, between Oxford and Cambridge, the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham is one of the leading Chemistry Schools in the UK and is recognised internationally for its world leading research portfolio, excellence in teaching and extensive engagement with Industry. Supported by its Business Partnership Unit, the School has a long history of establishing mutually beneficial research and commercial partnerships with a wide variety of companies spanning the pharmaceutical, chemical and related chemistry-using sectors. The Chemistry Innovation Lab (CIL), part-funded by ERDF, facilitates access to specialist skills, knowledge, equipment and new technologies for SMEs, providing assistance to innovate and grow.
The University of Nottingham is a leading international centre for energy research, with a reputation for excellence across a broad range of technologies encompassing bioenergy, fossil energy, energy storage, the built environment and electrical grids with a current grant portfolio in excess of £40M. The research is stimulating innovation, resulting in licensing and spin-off activity through collaborations with industry. The Energy Technologies Building is dedicated to RD&D in sustainable energy technologies at the University and is an exemplar low carbon building. The Accelerating a Low Carbon Economy (ALCE) team works with local SMEs to increase innovation, commercialisation and adoption of sustainable energy technologies in the region.
GRACE is part of the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) at the University of Nottingham and assists organisations, businesses, and individuals to take advantage of satellite navigation, positioning, geospatial and location-based technologies. GRACE provides services that include technical and business consultancy, training and education, testing and validation as well as knowledge exchange and technology transfer to all sizes of business.
The Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre has built a strong reputation for the quality and impact of collaborative work, particularly with small food producers and craft breweries. The centre’s services include R&D, assistance with the development of innovative products and processes, providing expertise on a consultancy-basis to solve business issues, and deliver training to meet staff development needs. The team offer access to both expertise and the necessary equipment to support product and process development with a reduced risk of failure.
Innovation Vouchers are an easy way of accessing university knowledge and equipment. Primarily aimed at small- and medium-sized companies in the East Midlands, they provide for a programme of work to be undertaken by the University for a business at a subsidised rate – often totally free. Previous uses of Innovation Vouchers have been the development of rapid prototypes, obtaining test data for new products, redesign of electronics, and providing an insight into leadership styles. The vouchers are not intended to replace services that are readily available elsewhere, but are a way of building a positive relationship with an academic team, which can inform and assist an SME’s development.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are relationships formed between the University of Nottingham and outside companies, which help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the transfer of knowledge, technology and skills from the University’s resources. Companies can benefit from working with the University on a specific project, usually of strategic importance to the business, for a period of between 12 and 36 months. Case studies of businesses that have worked with us and discovered fantastic results can be found here.
We aim to help small- and medium-sized businesses in the East Midlands to tap into the knowledge and expertise available to them from within the University. Our events and workshops provide SMEs with practical tips that they can take away and apply directly to their business, assisting them to grow and develop further in their enterprise. From breakfast meetings to business briefings, this is enabled through a variety of regular and one-off events throughout the year.
Part of the Nottingham University Business School, the Enterprise Lab provides an environment to enable students, graduates and staff to learn about the practical aspects of business development and build on their entrepreneurial skills. Students can apply for grants to assist their start-up ideas and enrol onto a programme of support, designed to help them to refine and define their business ideas and kick-start their business projects in a low-risk environment.