Science and Technology orb

£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, NextGenChem 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.

Register now

The programmes:

GISMO logo

Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO)

Over 250 innovative SMEs in Cheshire and Warrington will benefit from the £4.4 million Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. GISMO provides cutting-edge ideas and solutions to put your business ahead of the curve in the use, design and manufacture of materials. Use it to improve the performance of surfaces and coatings, chemicals and chemistry in your products and processes, and to develop your capabilities in additive manufacturing.

Visit the GISMO website

GISMO gives you fully funded access to the materials science experts at Lancaster University who will help you to:

  • Find new materials for your products
  • Test and develop your products, processes and business ideas
  • Trial new technologies and processes
  • Develop and build prototypes
  • Understand developments in materials science

If you want to put your ideas, materials, products and processes to the test, contact us to find out more about the project:

NextGenChem logo


Co-designed between Lancaster University and Yordas Group, the NextGenChem 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 Helen Atherton, Next Generation Chemistry Programme Manager:


Lancashire Cyber Foundry logo

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.

Visit the Lancashire Cyber Foundry website

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 Nick King, Business Development Manager.


ERDF and Northern Powerhouse logos

Fully Funded For Eligible SMEs

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

Contact our project teams to find out more about eligibility.