A six-month programme for Cumbria based SMEs where business leaders can explore and test opportunities, challenge each other, and learn the tools and knowledge needed to accelerate innovative business ideas. 


This programme consists of workshops, access to Masterclasses, an overnight experiential, an open-innovation challenge and a company visit. 

Who is it for?

It is suited to business leaders that need the support to explore new markets or ideas for product and service development. It is also designed for directors and managers who have had an initial idea but need the tools and space to assess their business model and accelerate market entry. 


  • Learn through discussion and exchange within a group of like-minded owner-managers
  • Learn the tools and techniques needed to diversify and innovate your business
  • Develop tangible innovative business ideas into a strategic business model
  • Learn the tools needed to create a culture of open-innovation within your business 


This is a fully-funded programme available to European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligible companies.  

ERDF Eligible companies

  • Based in Cumbria
  • Employ Fewer than 250 full-time employees
  • Has an annual turnover less than £40 million
  • Has received less than £160,000 of publicly funded support in the last 3 years
  • Is business to business


The Innovation Development Programme forms part of the Cumbria Innovations Platform. This is a new initiative to help local Cumbrian SMEs access technical and management expertise from Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria to accelerate innovation in new products and services.

The Innovation Development Programme will be delivered by Lancaster University Management School.