Innovation

Could a new idea help your business? Our Business Support team can connect you with advice and opportunities to make the most of being in such an innovative region. Get tailored and impartial support today.

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Take the next step in your innovation journey

Our dedicated Innovation team can offer you objective and independent support to help you develop new ideas and bring best practice to your business.

If you are based in West Yorkshire, then our Innovation Relationship Managers can help you:

  • Connect with innovation experts from universities, not-for-profits, and private sector businesses.
  • Get access to specialist resources like product laboratories, data analysis, and testing facilities.
  • Implement innovative practices by connecting you to guidance on best practice that is tailored to your specific sector.

Why work with us?

We’re committed to building a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire with an inclusive and sustainable economy. Our support is completely impartial and tailored to your circumstances.

West Yorkshire is a hub for innovation and investment, and local businesses are at the heart of that. A strong innovation culture can help you to:

  • Build resilience: face the challenges of higher interest rates, inflation, energy prices, and supply chain issues with greater confidence.
  • Drive growth: find new ways of doing things that make you more efficient and open up new markets and customers.
  • Create long-term value: become part of an ecosystem of excellence in the region and make strong partnerships for the future.

Ready to take the next step?

Talk to us today to find out more about what innovation support might be right for you.

About our innovation support

Innovation Relationship Managers

Our Innovation Relationship Managers (IRMs) are here to help you along your innovation journey. They will:

  • Consult with you about your innovation situation, priorities, and objectives.
  • Match you to the most appropriate services for your needs. That might be an introduction to a private sector partner, a referral to an expert innovation provider, or signposting you towards specialist resources.
  • Assist with navigating the innovation landscape - applying for grants, perfecting a product pitch, or finding an R&D partner.

All of our support is impartial, and our IRMs will tailor their suggestions to your specific needs.

New for March 2024: innovation grants

We have launched two new innovation grant schemes for 2024. Ignite and Amplify will help accelerate collaborations between SMEs and innovation specialists.

Ignite

The Ignite scheme is open to West Yorkshire SMEs in any sector who are looking for innovation support from us for the first time. It can help you to bring in third-party innovative expertise to take your idea from concept to prototype and beyond.

Ignite vouchers are worth up to £5,000, and will provide 50% of the funding for innovation projects. These projects typically last for up to four months, and no longer than 6 months.

Amplify

The Amplify scheme supports collaborations between SMEs and innovation specialists on projects in key areas like healthtech and net zero. If you have a proven concept that you’re looking to commercialise, it can help to accelerate your development process.

Amplify grants are worth up to £10,000, and will provide 40% of the funding for innovation projects. These projects typically last for up to 9 months, and no longer than 12 months.

To find whether you're eligible and how to apply, contact our Innovation team.

Find out more about our innovation support

  1. Space Hub Yorkshire

    We have teamed up with the Yorkshire Universities to create Space Hub Yorkshire through a new programme backed by the UK Space Agency.

    Read more about Space Hub Yorkshire

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Innovation news

  1. Characteristics of an innovative business

    When it comes to innovation – developing new ideas, creating commercial opportunities or doing things differently – there are often characteristics that individuals possess or businesses build, to aid and support the innovation process. Read our round up of what to instil in an innovative business.

    Read more about Characteristics of an innovative business