Research, Innovation & Universities

Our area has a high concentration of innovation assets – including innovation centres, science parks, enterprise zones, technology clusters, universities and colleges. This has contributed to the South East Midlands; becoming recognised as the most innovative LEP area, measured by the % of firms engaged in product or service innovation.

There are strong links between our universities and large companies. Higher Education Institutions in the South East Midlands receive 79% of income from contract research (2.5 times the England average). Cranfield University is among the top five universities for commercial income. We want to develop better links and opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.

Industrial Strategy

Government wants businesses, the public sector and universities working together more to put the UK at the forefront of the opportunities created by a technological revolution that will ‘disrupt nearly every sector, creating new opportunities and challenges for people, places and businesses.’ The Industrial Strategy sets out four areas where Britain can lead the global technological revolution. These four Grand Challenges are artificial intelligence and big data; clean growth; the future of mobility; and meeting the needs of an ageing society.

One of the mechanisms in place to help achieve this is the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together world-class UK research with business investment to develop the technologies and industries of the future and ensure that the UK captures the value of these innovations Read more about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. You can also contact Jon Rawcliffe, Business Development Manager at SEMLEP.

The Industrial Strategy also details a new competitive £115m Strength in Places Fund. This aims to fund projects that develop science and innovation strengths and local business networks and clusters, building on regional economic impact of universities, research institutes, Innovation and Knowledge Centres and Catapults and will link to Local Industrial Strategies.

Innovation Centres, Incubators & Accelerators

We have a large number of innovation centres, incubators and accelerators located in the South East Midlands. Some of these focus on specific sectors.

Contact Carl Mayers, at the Growth Hub for more information and to discuss your needs and signpost you to the most appropriate support.

Funding & Projects

Innovate UK:

Knowledge Transfer partnerships:

Our team is regularly scanning for new funding opportunities. Follow our LinkedIn and Twitter channels as we post these opportunities on there.