View guides

Funds Help Connect Businesses with Academics

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Businesses in the south-east have been invited to work with academics as part of the EIRA project (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application).

The EIRA project has been granted £4.7m from Research England's Connecting Capability Fund and is now open to applications from businesses looking to innovate by working with universities.

The EIRA network is led by the University of Essex working with the University of Kent and the University of East Anglia.

Professor Philippe De Wilde, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation at Kent, said: "Strong university partnerships focus on research as well as innovation. The Connecting Capability Fund has given us the opportunity to bring the best of innovation support together. Artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative are particularly well suited to businesses in the Eastern ARC geographic area. Integrated economies are stronger economies."

With a variety of grants available, it is hoped EIRA will help businesses of all sizes develop new products, services and solutions.

The project supports businesses operating in or seeking solutions from three key areas. Support is offered in the form of Innovation Vouchers to fund access to academic expertise and Research and Development Grants. More opportunities are in development, with Innovation Internships and start-up microfinance.

Partners from industry helping to strengthen EIRA's offering include, BT, TechEast, Agri-Tech East, Digital Catapult and more.