Businesses in Haverhill are set to reap the rewards from a share of £9.4million in newly secured funding.
The money, which has been acquired by a partnership led by Anglia Ruskin University from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be used to connect small and medium-sized companies to graduate talent. It is hoped this will then enable the development and launch of new products and services.
Among the other benefits of the KEEP+ programme - Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships - are 12-week graduate innovation internships, graduate employees and academic experts and innovation networking events.
Professor Roderick Watkins, Anglia Ruskin University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said the funding would make a significant difference to businesses.
“Thanks to over £9million of ERDF funding, this new KEEP+ programme will deliver real and immediate benefits for regional businesses,” he said.
“We surveyed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that took part in our previous Low Carbon KEEP programme and found that cost was the most significant barrier to innovation.
“Two thirds said that they will need support with innovation in the next three years and this new programme will deliver that support by supplying personnel with the right skills and experience.”
Led by the university, KEEP+ is a partnership that unites nine partners, including University Campus Suffolk and the East of England Local Government Association.
The programme will run for three years and will be open to SMEs registered and actively trading in the four Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas that cover Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, Hertfordshire and Essex, Kent and East Sussex.
Network events will bring companies together with organisations and charities, local authorities, and the NHS to explore how they could capitalise on the new market opportunities created by major societal challenges, such as ageing and climate change.
SMEs interested in taking part in KEEP+ should email programme manager Carole Randall on firstname.lastname@example.org.