WINN – New ideas are central to the innovation process

Promotional Business Feature. Pictured Hannah Ross
WINN H.Ross HeadShot Square HighRes (002)

WINN (Worcestershire Innovation) is a local initiative that provides support to Worcestershire’s innovation ecosystem. Its many streams of activity have encouraged creativity, fostered collaboration and celebrated innovation.

New ideas are central to the innovation process and protecting them is critical to successful development and commercialisation. WINN’s Proof of Concept Manager Hannah Ross works closely with the business community to provide grant funding and business support, which can help businesses to understand and access IP information, support, and services.

“Creating a new idea can be a true ‘lightbulb’ moment, but safeguarding that idea can be daunting and complex. For me, it’s really important that innovators can access the information and support required to protect their intellectual property, so they can get on with the exciting business of commercialising!”

Proof of Concept Grant Funding

Proof of Concept is a grant fund that supports businesses to create, develop and commercialise new products and services. Grants of up to £30,000 can be used for:

  • New tooling and equipment
  • Creating a prototype, including necessary raw materials
  • Product testing and certification
  • IP/trademark protection
  • Outsourcing costs for first production batches
  • External market research
  • Marketing material
  • Product launch

Proof of Concept has been available since 2016 and many applicant businesses have used the funding to pursue patents and trademarks or register design rights. In these cases, grant funding has helped businesses to overcome the major financial barriers preventing them from developing and commercialising their IP.

Innovation Launchpad

WINN’s new business support initiative, the Innovation Launchpad has been designed to help businesses transform their mindset, define their goals and access the specialist support required to accelerate their business success.

Phase 1: businesses receive 1:1 transformational coaching, critical business planning, and hear from innovative speakers during a 6hr ‘mission day’.

Phase 2: businesses receive four 1:1 bespoke specialist support session delivered at their business premises. Intellectual Property expertise is available in Phase 2 and can help businesses to identify their IP and understand how it can be protected. This won’t always involve patents, and businesses can really benefit from understanding the best approach to adopt.

Intellectual Property Insight In partnership with The Hive, Hannah will be providing impartial IP support at several county libraries. The initiative is supported by the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC), which is a partnership between the British Library and the UK Intellectual Property Office. This partnership is aimed at providing free or very low cost business and IP support to entrepreneurs and SMEs through 1-1 sessions, workshops, networking events and free access to a variety of resources such as market research databases. Worcestershire Libraries will be joining the BIPC network later this year with The Hive being the central hub however, IP support will be in place starting March 2020.

If you are interested in any of these initiatives, please visit WINNs website www.winn-hub.com

Facebook: @winnhub

Twitter: @winnweds #WINN

Instagram: @winnhub

LinkedIn: winn-hub

The Proof of Concept Project has received £2,575,157 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding