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Business & Economy

New scheme to help Tees Valley businesses innovate

Teesside University and technology research consultancy TWI have partnered to create The Tees Valley Innovation Accelerator (TIA).

The scheme will offer fully-funded support to Tees Valley SMEs looking to develop new products and services.

Participating companies will receive support from TWI’s Technology Innovation Management team who can help turn the innovative idea into a new product or solution with the potential to attract collaborative public grant funding; access to a consortium of experts from TWI’s Industrial Membership base and innovation networks to work with the company to develop the concept and take it to market; and advice and guidance on writing proposals for funding bids.

In conjunction with experts from Teesside University, companies on the scheme can also benefit from product prototyping support including key enabling technologies in electronics, mechanics, photonics, Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing simulation, chemistry and biology to realise proof-of concept or prototype; development of smart products, bringing together physical components with sensing and actuating elements as well as computing devices and connectivity; and facilities for manufacturing including inkjet 3D printing and micro-milling.

A webinar to launch the TIA scheme will take place at 2pm on June 10 featuring Gareth Fletcher, (technology manager, Tees Valley Combined Authority), Pete Stirling (CEO, STL Tech Ltd), Jamil Kanfoud, (head of Brunel Innovation Centre, Brunel University, London, Laurence Robinson (Technology Innovation Manager, TWI and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

Completing the speaker line up will be Dr Abbas Mohimi (head of public funding, TWI), who will chair the session, as well as Dr Tat-Hean Gan (director of innovation and skills, TWI) and Dr Zulfiqur Ali (innovation partnership director at Teesside University.

Dr Tat-Hean Gan said: “This new scheme offers a great opportunity for SMEs in the Tees Valley region to gain valuable knowledge on how to turn a technology concept into a tangible project, with the potential to secure public funding to create a new market-ready product or solution.