New grant fund provides innovation support North of Tyne

A new £1.5m grant fund has been launched by the North of Tyne Combined Authority to support business innovation across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland.

The North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is part of the Authority’s package of support to businesses dealing with the impact of COVID-19. It is designed to enable a green and sustainable recovery by funding projects that have potential to safeguard and create new jobs, build a more inclusive economy, and contribute towards the net zero agenda.

Cllr Johnson, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Investment and Resources, said: “The economic turbulence of the past year has been difficult for business. In North of Tyne we are committed to working alongside industry to contribute to a strong recovery.  Our Innovation Recovery Grant will invest in long-term sustainable growth and good jobs. Any business looking to bring something new and innovative to market, or improve the way they work, should consider applying.”

The Grant Fund is offering a 50% contribution towards the cost of innovation projects totalling between £10,000 and £20,000 – with grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 available. Projects should either launch an innovative product or service considered new to the market or bring a new technology or innovative process to the business.

The Innovation Recovery Grant is open to small and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises based in North Tyneside, Newcastle or Northumberland. It is delivered on behalf of the North of Tyne Combined Authority by NBSL and the Innovation SuperNetwork, who together bring combined experience in managing both grant funding projects and delivering innovation support.

Estelle Blanks, CEO at Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “We’re excited to be involved in delivering this critical piece of funding support to businesses across the North of Tyne area.

“Innovation can be a challenging concept, but it could be as simple as adopting a new technology or process. Many businesses don’t realise they are innovation active, so our sector specialists are available to applicants to provide one-to-one support to help companies make their innovation projects a reality.

“By delivering a programme of events and expert support, we hope to build innovation knowledge in businesses across the area and help them disrupt how they do things for the better.”

Projects can include a mix of consultancy and spend on tech or assets designed to support the delivery of innovation projects. The support should be new to businesses and could include:

  • Process improvement consultancy (e.g. cyber security, data management and analytics).
  • Product development consultancy or design
  • New to company software or other IT solutions (e.g. CRM)
  • Marketing consultancy
  • Production equipment

Ros Smith, Operations and Finance Director at NBSL, said: “This grant support provides a huge opportunity for businesses to identify projects that can deliver ‘new-to-market’ or ‘new-to-company’ innovation. 

“The North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is a welcome addition to the grant funding already available and, with NBSL’s experience of delivering large scale accessible funding programmes, the grant will bring much needed targeted support to the innovation landscape.”

Industry membership organisation CBI worked with North of Tyne Combined Authority on developing their COVID-19 business support packages, including helping design the broader Recovery Innovation Fund. Sarah Glendinning, CBI North East Director, said: “Targeted support for business innovation is one of the key recommendations of the CBI’s recent Reviving Regions work in the North East, and the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant is a big step in the right direction.

“A regional culture of ambition and innovation can provide the strong foundation needed to help businesses rebound from the economic ravages of the pandemic and target future growth and prosperity.”

Businesses interested in learning more about the types of activity the Grant will fund are invited to join one of two Project Eligibility Briefings hosted online on Tuesday 29th June at 1pm or Wednesday 30th June at 10am.

For more information about the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant go to:
https://ntca-innovationrecoverygrant.co.uk/

ENDS.

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