MIDAS and GC Business Growth Hub Innovation Service is accelerating business growth in the region.
The Innovation Service, led by GC Business Growth Hub working with MIDAS, has helped Greater Manchester businesses access over £1m worth of funding for research and development projects, and has supported the creation of more than 300 new jobs for the region in the past two years.
The Innovation Service provides practical hands-on support to enable businesses in the region to overcome the barriers hindering research and innovation. The team delivers this support via a diagnostic process, one-to-one advice and bespoke innovation action planning.
At the core of the service is connecting businesses with academia and large company partners. In the first two years, the Innovation Service has facilitated 49 collaborations between industry and academia, including 10 knowledge transfer partnerships.
As a result, over 117 new products and services have been created. These include virtual reality technology, the world’s most powerful optical microscope, and a wristband with location services designed to promote independent living for vulnerable people.
Rochdale-based manufacturer, GJD, is one of the businesses to have benefited from the service. GC Business Growth Hub facilitated a knowledge transfer partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University as well as a successful application to Innovate UK for a grant worth £141,750, enabling GJD to develop new advanced technology for its laser security range.
Mark Tibbenham, managing director at GJD explains: “The support we have received from GC Business Growth Hub and their partners has opened new doors for GJD and been the catalyst for further growth; our export growth has increased year-on-year by around 17.5%.
“Two new jobs have been created and at least four jobs protected as a direct result of the success we have achieved in growing our international business.”
Indian-owned Hero Cycles, one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers, approached MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency when opening its global design centre in the city in 2017. Ongoing support as part of the innovation service has significantly increased the company’s presence in the region and enabled the development of a number of new products, including the re-introduction of heritage brand Viking bikes.
Abhishek Pratap Singh, head of creative design at Hero Cycles, said: “Thanks to the service, we have been able to access world-class academic knowledge and research facilities, relevant government schemes and potential industry partners.
“We have also been connected with a ripe and exciting talent pool. As a result, we’ve embedded into the region quickly and are experiencing sustained growth.”
Commenting on the success of the Innovation Service, Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS, added: “The success of this programme is a real marker of the potential increased collaboration offers businesses in Greater Manchester.
“The region is a hotbed for research and development, but it is connecting the right businesses, academia and funding bodies that really has the power to accelerate business growth and make major boosts to Greater Manchester’s economy.”
The Innovation Service is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
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