New help for Oxfordshire’s small businesses to tap into innovation expertise

SCIENCE&TECH Ian Quirk demonstrating ActiveNeedle (Medium)

Businesses in Oxfordshire are being offered opportunities to  bring new technologies and processes to market through research and collaboration with the county’s wealth of research specialists and institutions. Innovation Support for Business (ISfB), an OxLEP Business programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund,  helps small businesses to partner up and find the r expertise and skills  they  need to help them to deliver their innovation projects.

Peter Russell, an advisor from OxLEP Business, said: “The appetite for working together is clearly huge in Oxfordshire with our recent sessions significantly over-subscribed.”

“We know that established businesses are in a great position to innovate, but often need additional input to complete their projects successfully.”

“At a recent workshop we matched MBA students from Said Business School, which is a partner of the ISfB programme, with businesses seeking to diversify or change to meet future challenges. It produced several projects where complimentary skills are making all the difference with new approaches, technologies or processes.”

OxLEP Business has relationships with both of Oxford’s universities and with research intensive organisations and businesses at Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre. It hopes to hear from more businesses wanting support to navigate their way to secure expertise, funding, joint ventures, partnerships and other support for their innovations. Aside from the programme’s own Go-create grant funding, ISfB can help to connect businesses to other major schemes including the Knowledge Transfer Partnership which is UK government funded through Innovation UK.