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New fund established to assist joint SME and University projects

22 October 13

A project, led by the University of Bradford, has established a new fund to help regional businesses develop new and improved products, services and processes in collaboration with local universities.

The Yorkshire Innovation Fund (YIF) is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and has been established to help SMEs across Yorkshire and the Humber grow their business through research, development and innovation.

To access the fund, SMEs and universities must collaborate to develop an application that is based upon a business need. Applications for funding are competitive, and successful projects will win funding to secure the time and expertise of the partnering university.

Dr Suzanne Emmett, Director of the Yorkshire Innovation Fund at the University of Bradford believes that providing funding for academic expertise could be transformative for many regional businesses.

“By giving SMEs access to the skills and facilities in the region’s universities, new products can come to market more quickly, ideas can become reality and opportunities for employment can be realised,” she said.

“We’re looking to help companies realise their ideas and grow their business. Collaborating with universities has long been an excellent way to tap into the skills and resources firms need to innovate. The Yorkshire Innovation Fund builds upon this and provides a route to accessing much-needed funding to make things happen.”

The YIF will be looking to support projects at a variety of levels, from small projects of up to £10,000 in value (such as proof of concept or technical feasibility study, or prototype new digital service) to larger projects of up to £30,000 (for example developing a new formulation, product design or business model).

Companies wanting to place graduates to undertake projects could access funding up to £30,000 for help with recruitment and mentoring by university experts.  Funding can also be awarded to one or more universities to work with several companies with similar research and development needs (for example an industry network or supply chain). The YIF will prioritise applications from sectors identified as crucial to the growth of the regional economy.

For further information visit or contact Catherine Singleton 01274 236673 or

22 October 13

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.