News - 25 June 2020

How ERDF funding is helping D2N2 businesses boost productivity

When RDS Global Ltd, based in Derby, were looking to develop new products to take their business forward, they sought funding from the University of Derby’s Invest to Grow programme.

With the £58,875 from Invest To Grow, RDS Global set about developing a cyber audit portal.

This portal enables clients to self-assess compliance with the government’s Cyber Essentials Certification and also the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

In order to develop the portal, RDS Global needed to recruit a series of development staff and technical experts which would not have happened without the investment provided by the European Regional Development Fund-backed project. 

Invest To Grow

The University of Derby’s Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.

Funding is awarded to companies looking to create new jobs in their company, increase their activity, or boost their overall performance.

It’s part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via D2N2.

The Invest to Grow funding received in 2017 enabled RDS Global to recruit five new members of staff, therefore creating an in-house development team.

Following the recruitment of this team, RDS Global was able to develop and subsequently launch its new cyber audit portal in the first quarter of 2018/19.

The portal not only enables online assessment for users regarding their compliance with Cyber Essentials and GDPR, but also provides the opportunity for individual staff to access specific training.

This is enabled via RDS Global’s online module, which was developed as part of the portal.

In addition to providing support to businesses, the portal and online course have also been utilised by schools and universities, which have included it as part of their training modules.

Andy Flinn, CEO of RDS Global, referred to the success of the portal, stating that it remains in use on a daily basis.

“This project launched the growth of the business, which went from £2.8m before development of the cyber portal to close to £4m at the end of 2019.”

“Invest to Grow enabled us to create our own in-house development team. This has helped to transform the business from a traditional IT service provider to one which can provide a range of integrated solutions and products. We are continuing to develop products as a result.”

“Working with Invest to Grow has broadened our knowledge of the University and how we can engage with it. It has been a really good experience working with Nic and the team, which has led to us developing a broader relationship with the University in other areas.”

In addition to the KTP and the placement programme, RDS Global also received support from the University’s Enscite Project, including guidance on how to market its new product.

To find out more, go to the University of Derby’s Invest To Grow webpage.

ERDF logo

European Regional Development Fund

The European Regional Development Fund is one of the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

ERDF is focused on reducing economic disparities within and between EU member states by supporting economic growth, regeneration, and safeguarding jobs.

In England, the ERDF is managed by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government supports the UK Government’s growth priorities of rebalancing the economy and supporting key initiatives such as the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse.

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