Business representatives from across Cumbria attended the launch of a £2.1 million project to help small and medium sized businesses in the county benefit from expertise across the University of Cumbria, Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire.
Eco-innovation Cumbria has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund and will offer businesses access to a programme of events which will include detailed forums, lectures and residential workshops.
Funds are also available for placement of researchers into businesses where there are ideas for innovation which will have environmental benefits.
John Berry, from the University of Cumbria’s enterprise division, said: “This is just the start of what we hope will be an exciting time of collaboration between our staff and students and the wide range of businesses who are based in Cumbria.
“The university is about providing the best for people who live in Cumbria. This project is an ideal opportunity for the university to actively develop innovation and development opportunities.”
The university hopes collaborative agreements with entrepreneurs can be forged, from undergraduate research to more intensive support work on business-led projects.
Annette Suddes, from the University of Cumbria, added: “We know SMEs – big and small – have ideas which could take off if they had some support to make it happen.
”This could be in the form of a short term placement where a student works exclusively on a project or a longer term scheme delivered one of the partner universities.”
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