Unlock your potential

June 4, 2019

Are you a North East-based SME looking for support to take your innovation to market? Pathways 2 Innovation and RTC North can help

The North East is open for business with more than 11,000 new North East companies launched in 2017* – meaning there is a real demand for reliable, effective and result-driven business support.

Pathways 2 Innovation (P2I) is a programme designed to help SMEs protect and commercialise new technologies, products, services and processes and access new markets.

Supporting the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan, the programme is particularly aimed at businesses in the healthcare and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, offshore and energy technologies, IT, software, creative and digital sectors.

P2I is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered by RTC North in partnership with the Business & Intellectual Property Centre Newcastle in the NE LEP area.

SMEs based in the North East, from Durham to Northumberland, working in these key sectors can access four levels of support through the programme, including:

One-to-one support

A minimum of two days support from RTC North’s innovation advisors. During this stage, SMEs can benefit from:

  • Idea health checks and IP audits (infringement, freedom to operate)
  • Product, publication and patent searching (novelty)
  • Commercialisation assistance and legal advice (partnering, business model, licencing etc)
  • Facilitation of company introductions and identification of collaboration partners
  • Business development support (strategy)
  • Specialist market research (bespoke support using commercial data sources)
  • Copyright advice for training materials

Support through masterclasses and workshops

Half or full-day sessions delivered on a range of topics throughout the year, covering:

  • Innovation training
  • Monetising intellectual property
  • Business model development
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Accessing market intelligence

Funded support for innovation

Companies can access up to 35 per cent grant funding for work with external specialists for projects between £3000 and £6000 total value.

Through P2I, RTC North can provide support with the development and commercialisation of innovative ideas. Eligible companies can access subsidised services for projects which lead to the development of new technologies, products, processes and services. From strategic planning, market strategy and helping companies to access proof of concept and other forms of funding and procurement advice.

Support through The Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC)

BIPC can provide free support to enable eligible SMEs to identify and utilise their intellectual property to protect new innovations and grow their business. Free support available includes:

  • One-to-one IP advice sessions delivered by the BIPC team and the Intellectual Property Office
  • One-to-one support session from IP barristers and solicitors
  • Patent and trademark searches
  • Access to quality business information services including online sources of information, such as British Standards and Mintel, often out of the reach of most SMEs
  • Exclusive invitation to events and masterclasses, supported by a range of BIPC partners, focusing on harnessing IP for growth and exploring new market opportunities

RTC services are designed to help clients innovate, compete and grow. Specialising in the commercialisation of new products and services, we work with individuals, businesses and the public sector to help create more innovative and vibrant economies.

RTC North
Founded in 1989, RTC North has vast experience of helping organisations with all stages of the innovation and IP commercialisation process and uses this expertise to support partners at a UK regional, national and European level.

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