Services to support innovation

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Key: NTU = Nottingham Trent University, UoD = University of Derby, UoN = University of Nottingham


  • Aerospace

    The Institute for Aerospace Technology represents a 350 strong team of researchers delivering world class, multidisciplinary research and is driving the development of cutting-edge research technology that will radically improve all aspects of air travel. Our academic and technical staff together with our students are keen to engage with SMEs from the sector; our offer includes access to state of the art facilities, consultancy, business development workshops and student/graduate projects and placements.

    Innovation Park, UoN
    E: Hitendra Hirani
    T: 0115 951 3988
    IAT website

  • Chemistry

    The Chemistry Innovation Laboratory (CIL) is an initiative for supporting innovation and growth in chemistry using SMEs. It provides the opportunity for businesses to access specialist skills, knowledge, equipment and new technologies available through The University of Nottingham’s internationally leading School of Chemistry. Assistance is tailored to suit the needs of each company and projects can include analytical and characterisation support, product development support, developing improved manufacturing processes and providing quality control services. The mechanisms for delivering this support include laboratory work, feasibility studies, consultancy, literature reviews and graduate placements. If you have alternative requirements, please contact us with more details to see if we can help.

    CIL is managed through the School of Chemistry Business Partnership Unit and draws upon all of the expertise, facilities and contacts available to the School. 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.

    CIL in partnership with four trade and professional bodies (IChemE, RSC, SCI, CIA) has also pioneered the formation of a regional network of chemistry using businesses and universities “EMChem” that focuses on developing collaborations, establishing new supply chains and sharing sector specific skills, knowledge and best practice.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Sian Masson
    T: 0115 748 4082
    CIL website

  • Computer science innovation

    Make sure you derive maximum business advantage from state-of-the-art IT solutions. Our experts will help you envision the possibilities via our programme of workshops and seminars. And we can support your scoping and implementation through collaborative hands-on projects, helping you keep up with the rapidly advancing areas of: mobile app development, big data, cloud computing, internet of things, sensing and smart technologies, networking and infrastructure security and digital media.

    Clifton Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Digital tools for new audiences

    Are you thinking about how to engage new and existing audiences with your organisation or a client organisation, and wondering how to invest in new digital technologies? Using the heritage industry as a case study we will show you how to assess your digital needs, look for sustainable digital options and demonstrate a range of open access/free-to-use technologies that will help you design a solution for your needs.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Matt Davies 
    T: 0115 951 3191

  • Evidenced based innovation

    Are you looking to expand or improve your business and need help accessing relevant and cutting edge cultural and economic intelligence? We will work with you to help you identify what kind of expertise might bring benefit to your business and offer free support from a relevant academic expert to help you identify and use effectively the critical research resources essential for the growth of your business.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Lisa McCabe
    T: 0115 846 8345

  • Food and brewing innovation

    If you are a small/medium sized Food & Drink business in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area and you are looking for scientific or technical help to innovate within your company, we may be able to help you with some free support. We have expertise, facilities and students working across the food, brewing and sensory sciences and are looking to offer them to encourage innovation in your business.

    Sutton Bonington Campus, UoN
    E: Richard Worrall
    T: 07587 636585
    Brewing Science website     Food Sciences website

  • Food and drink innovation

    Our School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences – based at our Brackenhurst Campus, near Southwell has a range of analytical and food processing facilities which enable our team of food scientists to offer the following services: shelf life testing, compositional and nutritional analysis, sensory testing, advice on product development innovation and the application of technologies and labelling compliance.

    Brackenhurst Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Ingenuity events

    Our ‘Ingenuity’ events and workshops provide a route into The University of Nottingham for small and medium-sized businesses and enable them to benefit from the vast resources and expertise at this world-class institution. Featuring a broad range of business themes, our events provide SMEs with practical tips they can take away and apply directly to their business and give business leaders an insight into the cutting-edge research taking place at the University and its potential applications in the business world. Join us to network with other local businesses and develop knowledge that will allow you to grow as a leader and as a company.

    Innovation Park, UoN
    E: Gemma Morgan-Jones
    T: 0115 748 4783
    Ingenuity website

  • Ingenuity Lab

    The Ingenuity Lab looks to find and support the creation of world class businesses coming from University of Nottingham (UoN) students and alumni. We will create new high value enterprises reflecting the significant quality and level of UoN teaching and research. With a focus on Computer Science, Engineering, Bioscience, Health and Social Impact a programme of grants, development programmes and sector specific activity will create new clusters of innovation in Nottingham City.

    Innovation Park, UoN
    E: Steve Chapman
    T: 0115 846 6950
    Ingenuity lab website

  • Innovation and growth micro-programme

    Our programmes are tailored towards early stage, micro and small businesses that want to innovate and grow. We know that lack of funds and time often get in the way, so our programmes are designed to be flexible around your needs, with a range of expert-led workshops to choose from, flexible learning methods and outreach activities, mentoring and a dedicated innovation co-ordinator to help you find your way around the range of services on offer.

    Join us to choose from a range of activities including:

    • An initial diagnostic to help us understand your business needs
    • Informal workshops covering key business themes such as small business strategy, marketing, access to finance, managing yourself and recruiting talent for innovation
    • Support for innovation with practical, interactive workshops for you and your team on making the most of social media; adopting new technologies and software; protecting intellectual property and exploring new markets, innovative business models and alternative revenue streams
    • Inspirational talks from international experts and innovative entrepreneurs to stimulate your creativity
    • Practical events to help you network with other businesses, and meet potential talent and expertise at our recruitment and placement events, ‘Thinkubator’ and showcases
    • Mentoring from a range of experienced small business advisers to match your needs and help you meet your full innovation potential

    City Campus, NTU.
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Innovation vouchers

    If you need assistance developing a new product we may be able to help with a University of Nottingham Innovation Voucher. Specifically designed to assist small and medium enterprises where resources are usually limited, a voucher allows you to tap into the first-class facilities and knowledge of the university. Help is usually provided by way of technical advice and assistance.

    Innovation Park, UoN
    E: David Southall 
    T: 0115 846 7246

  • Inspiring graduates

    Graduates are an important source of new business start-ups and job creation. So, we are providing a blend of enterprise start-up support for students to stimulate successful business start-ups. This package of enterprise support will include mentoring and development sessions.

    Quaker Way, Derby, UoD
    T: Sue Morrison – 01332 591956

  • Knowledge Exchange for Innovation

    Your business can access university knowledge alongside graduate talent with a Knowledge Exchange for Innovation project (KEI). A KEI project is suitable for strategic growth projects between 6-18 months. Part-funding is available to cover the employment costs of a recent graduate in addition to access to university knowledge and mentoring.

    Quaker Way, Derby, UoD
    E: Amanda Baxendale
    T: 01332 597815

  • Languages for business

    Whether you are looking to export goods and services, diversify your UK customer base or attract business from abroad, understanding your language needs to underpin activities is a vital first step to success. We will help you establish a framework to understand the key challenges in cross-cultural communication and in developing a strategy to enable your business to operate across different cultures and languages. Through high skill placements and short consultations we will support you in the first stages of implementing a language strategy.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Joanne Gregory
    T: 0115 846 8317

  • Legal advice for innovation

    Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre, City Campus. Winners of the IPO Fast Forward Competition 2014 and the IPO StudenshIP Awards for Enterprise 2015. The Centre holds a licence to deliver legal services from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and delivers advice and other legal services for businesses, including social enterprises and charities, on a variety of commercial law issues. Areas of expertise range from intellectual property, employment and contractual terms and conditions to commercial dispute resolution and some commercial property law.

    The Centre’s services are provided by Nottingham Law School staff and students, with all work supervised by the Centre’s qualified lawyers. We also provide expert workshops on a variety of legal topics to those looking to set up and develop their businesses and explore other means of delivering effective legal services to SMEs.

    City Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Linguistic profiling for businesses

    The ability to communicate effectively is crucial to the success of any workplace.  Linguistic profiling provides a unique portfolio of business products to enhance the effectiveness of individuals, teams and organisations.  Benefits include increased economic productivity, greater staff retention and career enrichment by enhancing communication practices in everyday settings.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Kay Snowley
    T: 0115 748 6361

  • Management and leadership of innovation

    Innovation isn’t just a technical process. The innovation process needs to be managed through to commercialisation. Our integrated business innovation programme will provide small to medium sized companies with diagnostic and consultancy support to draw together all of their business operations to support innovation as a driver of business growth and competitiveness.

    Derby, UoD
    T: Ian Roberts – 01332 591956

  • Manufacturing

    The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing offers high precision machining, metrology, automated assembly and digital manufacturing expertise which can help companies to develop new products and processes, and expand their existing internal and external supply chain capabilities. Short technical assistance projects are available at no cost for qualifying regional SMEs, as well as consultancy and contract engineering services. We can offer access to a multi-disciplinary team and cutting edge facilities to encourage the development of new technologies and systems for the production of high-value, high-complexity products. Through a series of awareness events we will also support the uptake of new technologies and manufacturing principles to help increase productivity.

    University Park, UoN
    E: Mark Strickland
    T: 0115 748 4786
    IAM website

  • Materials and engineering innovation

    Expert workshops, innovation futures events, collaborative projects and scientific services will provide you with access to the School whose research contributed to NTU being awarded 2015 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education – the highest award national honour for a UK University. Our research is internationally leading in a number of fields. We can help you generate technology-driven step-change with our expertise in metrology, materials analysis, industrial imaging and process automation, materials use in buildings and products, smart materials, materials for health and wellbeing and personal and commercial security.

    Clifton Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Postgraduate placements

    Are you are a small or medium-sized enterprise in which a high calibre postgraduate student could contribute to a project that will make an impact on the development of your business?  If you are we can draw up a brief, advertise and recruit a postgraduate student who will work part-time with your business for up to 200 hours for a period of between 3 – 6 months; the University will act as the employer.  The project can be anything from a scientific research project that needs specialist resources and expertise, to developing a marketing strategy for your business.
    University Park, UoN.

    E: Kerry Wright
    T: 0115 951 4732
    Postgraduate placements website

  • Product design and process innovation

    The School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment & the School of Art and Design, City Campus aim to provide businesses advice, guidance and practical help around the area of ‘design’ – including product design and the design process. This includes providing local SME businesses with access to disruptive technologies, including 3D visualisation and rapid prototyping (including 3D printing), virtual reality technologies, eco-design, sustainability expertise and innovative design practices. This work builds upon the successful ERDF Future Factory project which ran between 2009 and 2015.

    City Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 8899

  • Satellite navigation

    GRACE (GNSS Research and Applications Centre of Excellence), part of the Nottingham Geospatial Institute at the University of Nottingham works with local SMEs to support innovation and growth in the exploitation of satellite applications technologies. It provides the opportunity for businesses to access specialist skills, knowledge, equipment and new technologies available through The University of Nottingham. Assistance is tailored to suit the needs of each company and projects can include business support, product development support, incubation support, advice, testing, training and technical support. The mechanisms for delivering this support include laboratory work, feasibility studies, testing, training, consultancy, literature reviews and graduate placements; and we are more than happy to discuss and cater for individual company requirements.

    Innovation Park, UoN
    E: Paul Bhatia
    T: 0115 823 2332

  • Support for enterprise and innovation

    The Hive is Nottingham Trent University’s specialist Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise. Through its structured business development, and mentoring programmes, The Hive provides assistance to budding entrepreneurs and early stage businesses seeking to exploit and develop innovative business ideas in order to help them turn those ideas into financially viable and sustainable business ventures. Although primarily for students and graduates from NTU, The Hive is also open to hearing from anyone with a good business idea that would benefit from an association with the University.

    Since 2001, The Hive has helped more than 250 companies to start up across many different sectors, from business consultancy to the creative industries; and almost 70% of those businesses are still trading today, turning over in excess of £15m per annum and employing more than 500 people.

    City Campus, NTU
    T: 0115 848 6082
    Hive website

  • Talent4Innovation – Derby internship programme

    Could a student or new graduate help your business to innovate? The Derby internship programme can provide you with a grant towards a flexible placement opportunity (from 6 weeks to 6 months) to address a specific business project. Recruitment support is also available including developing a job specification, advertising and shortlisting.

    Derby, UoD
    E: Amber Woodfull
    T: 01332 592939

  • Talent for innovation

    The NTU Employability Team work with SME’s in the D2N2 area and can offer a contribution of 20% towards a graduate salary for up to 12-months, to support businesses to introduce innovate products, services or processes.

    We also offer free breakfast events for SME’s to provide insight into how to attract the best talent to your business, exploring innovation and best practice in recruitment.

    Alongside this, we have designed a programme to support recent graduates/junior colleagues in businesses who would like to receive support in enabling innovation and growth in the business which will act as a platform to support SME’s with growth and innovation.

    The team will help you to identify how a graduate can help you to drive innovation and transform your business.  We will work with you to find the right graduate talent and support you to recruit and retain that talent in your business.

    City Campus, NTU
    E: Emmie Studencki
    T: 0115 848 2569

  • Time2Innovate

    Technology and expertise at the University of Derby’s Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) could support your business to innovate, exploit new market opportunities and create new products and processes.

    A programme of kick-off events for businesses will include technology focused workshops and experience days. After that, simulation, prototyping and research & consultancy support will be available for innovation projects with small to medium sized companies. General advice will be available from technical advisors in addition to more specific expert advice on a simulation or a manufacturing problem.

    Derby, UoD
    E: Paul Stewart or Jenny Clementson
    T: 01332 593523 or 01332 593511
    Time2Innovate website

  • Unlocking growth potential

    Business growth is complex so we’ve created a programme to make it more achievable. We’d like to invite small business owners to unlock their growth potential in our new learning programme.

    Building on our success and expertise in helping small and medium businesses grow over the past few years, our programme Unlocking Growth Potential (UGP) will help you drive growth through a proven entrepreneurial leadership and management programme. You’ll benefit from experienced mentors who’ll help you develop and implement your growth plans backed by advanced business growth learning. You’ll hear from entrepreneurial business leaders in regular exclusive talks. Most of all, you’ll have time to further develop yourself as a leader in a group of like-minded individuals.

    If you’re a small or medium business owner who wants to gain:

    • Clarity over how to create and capture more profitable growth
    • Coherence to sustain growth with more effective management techniques
    • Consistency to plan and implement growth more rigorously
    • Confidence to lead others and thrive as a business owner
    • Community benefits from joining a cohort of ambitious and committed growth-oriented business owners

    Why not join us?

    The Business Engagement Team, UoN
    E: Dave Tuer
    T: 0115 748 4353


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