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Business & Economy

COVID-19 support from university helps scores of businesses

Teesside University has helped a number of companies navigate their way through the challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, new analysis has shown.

To date, the university has given 55 companies specialist technical support while 101 individuals have been helped to improve their digital skillset through the Digital Skills for Growth programme

Detailed diagnostic work with 22 companies has also helped to generate tailored responses to COVID-19 challenges, with the opportunity to apply to the University’s ERDF-funded Spark Fund for financial support to implement them.

Twenty-five new start-ups have taken part in the DigitalCity Accelerator and 18 start-ups assisted through the university’s online Microbiz Academy. The university-led DigitalCity initiative has also helped 13 companies prepare for growth through its SCALE programme.

Meanwhile, staff at the university has prepared 20 bids for grant support for companies looking to innovate and grow.

This analysis follows a report, commissioned by the university and carried out by independent consultancy New Skills Consulting, that reveal activities of Teesside University benefited the region by more than £128.4 million as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA).

Laura Woods, director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University (pictured), said: “We’re very pleased that the university has been able to react so promptly to the unique situation faced by businesses.

“The past few months have demonstrated yet again – and more sharply than ever –  the innovation and resilience with which our region responds to significant challenges.

“Companies have pivoted to provide new goods and services, while entrepreneurs have continued to find new markets for their goods and services.

“We’re delighted to be playing a part in supporting them, and are now focused on helping the region bounce back from the economic effects of the pandemic.”