Innovation & Productivity Pathfinder

Developing innovation pathways and options for strategic business growth.

Innovation and Productivity Pathfinder is a fully funded programme that offers support for start-ups, SMEs and large businesses in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the wider Staffordshire County Council Districts looking to grow their business through innovation.

Benefit from having a trained Staffordshire University student or graduate placed in your business, who will develop a bespoke innovation plan that spans your entire business, including produce, service, and process. With the guidance of an Innovation Advisor, our students and graduates will support your business in developing and implementing approved innovation ideas.

*This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

Who can apply?

This programme is open to start-ups, SMEs and large businesses in Newcastle-under-Lyme or the wider Staffordshire County Council Districts.

Businesses located in Stoke-on-Trent City Council are not currently eligible to access this funded support.

What to expect

  • One Staffordshire University student or graduate intern for up to 16 hours per week for 12 weeks, to support the development and implantation of your bespoke innovation plan.
  • A dedicated Innovation Advisor to support both your business and intern over the course of the project.
  • Each partnership will be bespoke and will include access to both existing and newly purchased state-of-the-art equipment based in the Innovation Enterprise Zone.
  • A simple application process.

 

Benefits

The fully-funded support the successful businesses will benefit from:

  • Innovation, Productivity and Digital Clinics

Meet our Innovation Advisors who will help you identify the key areas for potential innovation strategies. Work with industry-leading academics to undertake mapping and development via a bespoke innovation plan. Our Digital Clinics will provide a high-level overview of the business plan and outline the potential for deploying the innovation internship.

  • 12-week innovation pathways internships

The innovation internships, in partnership with Staffordshire University and under the supervision of our Innovation Advisors, will support businesses to understand the prospective opportunities for innovation across the whole business model. The trained intern will identify the plausible paths for innovation-led growth.

  • Intrapreneurship short course for employers’ workforce

Fostering ideas, creativity, and innovation among the businesses' workforce can provide opportunities for increasing productivity and exploring innovation avenues. The short course will support businesses’ staff with ‘intrapreneurship’ skills and knowledge. Your employees will be able to harness these new skills and apply them in an everyday setting.

  • Access to Specialist Equipment

Staffordshire University houses state-of-the-art technology, such as 3D printers, robotic arms, and laser scanners, as well as high-tech PC equipment with access to various leading software. Collaborating with the university and its talent pool will grant your business access to utilise the facilities available throughout the project to transform your business at zero cost.

 

Funding 

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people in employment.

For more information, visit UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Case studies

Facilities

Staff

Marek Hornak

Asso Dean: Employer Ptn'S & Enterprise

Steve Hargreaves

Ep Develop'Mt Mgr-K'Ledge Exchng E'Prise

In my current role as an Employer Partnerships Development Manager, I look after the business incubator and take the lead in several exciting innovation projects. I set up KTPs and have supported businesses with Innovate UK bids.

Steve's profile

Ajay Kapadia

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. Managing Director at Cut the Mustard Digital Transformation.

Ajay's profile

Alan Christian

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University.

Alan's profile

Allen Jones

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University.

Allen's profile

Christopher Melia

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Product Design

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. Design Director at Born Inventive Ltd.

Christopher's profile

Derek Colley

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Computing

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. Senior Research Fellow at Staffordshire University.

Derek's profile

Ernest Edwards

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University.

Ernest's profile

John Carr

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. John is a shareholder in three businesses: Longcape, Inter-Engineering and Strimplates UK.

John's profile

Judith Smith

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. Director at Sustainabilitysmith Ltd.

Judith's profile

Nicholas Heywood

Administrative Assistant-Planning

Nick is a Planning Administration Assistant and an active Disability, Inclusion and User Experience researcher. His interests include improving experiences of stakeholders, particularly those in underrepresented communities, such as disabled people.

Nicholas's profile

Stephen Silk

Innovation Advisor

Innovation Advisor at Staffordshire University. Director at Design Analytics Ltd.

Stephen's profile
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