The BIC has received £820,439 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, to relaunch it's innovation programme after the success of the first North East SME Innovation Programme which ran until August 2015.
The fund will assist businesses in the region to become more innovative, encouraging them to increase their competitiveness and exploit more opportunities.
Over the next three years SMEs will be given advice and guidance on outsourcing help from innovation experts, enabling them to focus on creating new products, services or processes in their sector.
Innovation manager, Elizabeth Shaw, said: “Each SME will receive access to third party expertise in the innovation process and, as a result, will gain an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to undertake further projects within the business.
“In order to prosper, businesses must innovate and whilst most would agree with the sentiment, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
"This project will enable us to work with individual businesses to diagnose potential development opportunities and make vital connections.”