EU Funding. Events. People & Skills Projects - 24 June 2019

Event focuses on improving innovation in D2N2 LEP area

Business and local authority leaders attended an ‘Innovation Discovery Day’ for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area.

The D2N2 LEP is the private sector-led Partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services representatives which promotes economic growth across the area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

LEP representatives and partners attended a D2N2 Innovation Discovery Day event held at Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Rushcliffe Arena today (June 24), to discuss the state of innovative thinking and practices – in business, academia, retail and elsewhere – in the D2N2 area, and how these could be better fostered and shared.

The event followed earlier research and gathering of evidence by partners, including the D2N2 LEP’s in-depth January 2018 published report A Science and Innovation Audit for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area. A copy is available here

At today’s event, the findings of the Science and Innovation Audit report were discussed by speaker Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive of the D2N2 LEP.

Fellow speakers on the day included Nottinghamshire County Council Chief Executive Anthony May, Medilink East Midlands CEO Darren Clark and Regional Energy Projects Manager at Nottingham City Council Michael Gallagher.

Innovation in key area sectors such as food and drink manufacturing, and life sciences; sustainable energy production, construction of homes, retail and above all productivity were among the topics debated in front of around 40 delegates.

D2N2 Innovation Investment

D2N2 has used its considerable resources, including European Union and UK Government derived funding, to invest in major schemes and programmes aimed at promoting innovation in its area, including:

  • £6.5million from the LEP’s Local Growth Fund (LGF) allocation to enable the building of the £30m BioCity Discovery building, at the BioCity Life Sciences site in Nottingham city centre (see web link HERE);
  • £5m towards the University of Nottingham’s £24m Advanced Manufacturing Building (opened in 2018); to promote world-class research around the aerospace, automotive, food, biomedical, energy generation, chemical products and digital manufacturing sectors (see link HERE);
  • Infinity Park Derby, part of the Nottingham & Derby Enterprise Zone strategically managed by D2N2, saw the opening in February (2019) of the Nuclear AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) for the Midlands (see link HERE).

In May 2016 D2N2 also announced it would fund half the costs of two programmes to boost innovation in its area

  • The £20.3million ‘Enabling Innovation’ project; working with area universities Nottingham, Nottingham Trent and Derby to provide their academics’ expertise to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) firms, to encourage innovation and greater productivity. More information by clicking the web link HERE.
  • The £2.7m Catalysing Growth through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing project – Enabling SMEs in the road, rail and aerospace equipment manufacture sectors to work with the University of Derby and Loughborough University, to encourage business growth through innovation. More information at web link HERE.

LEP investment in these two programmes was through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding previously allocated to the D2N2 LEP, part of its wider €250m in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

Innovation and its promotion is a priority for the D2N2 LEP, as set out in its recently published new Strategic Economic Plan, Vision 2030, and will feature strongly in its upcoming Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) for the area. A draft of the LIS is due to go out for public consultation later this year (2019). A recent restructuring of the LEP’s Advisory Boards of experts has also seen the addition of an Innovation Board, specifically focused on this topic.

For more information on the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s approach to encouraging innovation in its area see its website at

Media wanting more information about the D2N2 LEP can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 9578749 or email:

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