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£11.4m worth of growth opportunities for your business

We have three new programmes offering funded access to expertise, resources and research capacity on next generation chemistry, smart materials and cyber security to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) create new products and services, driving innovation and business growth.

Dr Steve Fish, Director of Partnerships and Business Engagement

Dr Steve Fish, Director of Partnerships and Business Engagement, explains:

“GISMO, Next Gen Chem and the Lancashire Cyber Foundry are three new initiatives, worth £11.4m, that build on Lancaster University’s academic capability and will connect the institution to commercial partners across the region.

These projects focus on three growth areas:

  1. Chemistry
  2. Cyber Security
  3. Material Science 

"Our vision is to provide innovative solutions that will increase productivity and growth, and use these initiatives as catalysts to encourage companies to cluster and to not only work with us, but with each other. We hope that this combined approach will accelerate innovation in chemistry, cyber security and advanced materials and will lead to a variety of opportunities that link these initiatives with other complimentary activities across the North."

870 Opportunities

The programmes combined will engage with more than 870 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and deliver 180 new research collaborations between businesses and Lancaster University researchers, including creating opportunities for nine new PhD researchers – providing the scientists and innovators of the future.

  • Gain resources and time to develop innovative new products, processes and services for your competitive advantage
  • Access extensive, fully-equipped research and development workshops and laboratories worth over £45 million
  • Break barriers to innovation and explore commercial opportunities through funded R&D projects
  • Gain a trusted partner with a track record of successful industry collaboration

Call one of our team now or register interest online and we'll contact you.

The programmes:

Scientific scanning equipment

Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO)

Over 250 innovative SMEs in the Cheshire and Warrington areas will benefit from £4.4 million GISMO programme, which has been created specifically for chemical using industries, such as the chemicals, aerospace, automotive, energy, applied healthcare, and life sciences sectors. Participating businesses will gain access to research and development expertise and specialist technology to solve industry-driven challenges through innovations in ‘smart’ materials.

To find out more contact Martin Gilmore, Head of Partnerships and Business Engagement for Physical Sciences

Tel. +44 1524 510229

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Next Gen Chem

Co-designed between Lancaster University and Yordas Group, the Next Gen Chem programme will enable 300 Lancashire chemical-using SMEs to innovate using ‘next generation’ chemistry. Through a blend of targeted workshop activities focused around innovative synthesis, formulation and chemical process development, and bespoke technical and analytical research and development support, the programme will lead to the creation of new and improved products and processes.

The funding from this programme will also expand the capacity of Lancaster University to engage with businesses on research and development through its cTAP facility by supporting the acquisition of new analytical equipment such as a catalyst assessment rig, a robotics automation platform, a kilo lab, and equipment suits.

To find out more contact Martin Gilmore, Head of Partnerships and Business Engagement for Physical Sciences

Tel. +44 1524 510229

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Lancashire Cyber Foundry

Building on the success of the ‘Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry’, the £2.1 million Lancashire Cyber Foundry programme offers the opportunity for SMEs to increase their awareness of cyber security technologies and explore the development of new digital products and services using technology to innovate.

Delivering a blend of face-to-face workshops, online modules, and software development putting cyber security at the forefront, the Lancashire Cyber Foundry will increase SME innovation increase business growth, stability and security through the increased awareness and application of cyber security technologies across 320 SMEs. Any eligible business or sector within Lancashire can apply. You do not have to be a technology-based company to access the support.

To find out more contact Dr Neil Dullaway, Head of Partnerships and Business Engagement for Computing and Communications.

Tel. 07801 715266

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Fully Funded For Eligible SMEs

All three programmes are fully funded for eligible SMEs, as they are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the University.

ERDF eligible businesses are those which:

  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time employees
  • Have an annual turnover less than £40 million
  • Have received less than £160,000 of publicly funded support in the last 3 years
  • Trade business to business
  • Are in an eligible sector. European Regional Development funding is not available to businesses in the following sectors:
    • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Processing and marketing of agricultural products
    • Shipbuilding
    • Schools/school age educational establishments
    • Insurance companies
    • Primary production
    • Coal or steel
    • Synthetic Fibres
    • Banking