Blogs - 26 October 2015

Support for Innovation

Innovation is the ‘buzz’ word of many organisations today – everyone’s doing it, it seems. But what does innovation mean and how does it apply to a small business?

Is it just about introducing new technology and processes or something more fundamental about the way you run your business?

The D2N2 LEP has a strategic plan, Time to Innovate in which Innovation is defined as:-

the commercial exploitation of new ideas in the form of new products and processes, new organisational techniques, new markets and new sources of supply which can be new to the firm, new to the market or new to the world.

Most innovation does not stem from a scientific or technological discovery; it will often be about improving the way a business operates and thinks or how a product or service is offered to the market. It is often a collaborative activity, with some two thirds of product innovators and two fifths of process innovators engaged in collaborations. It’s a cliché, but if you want to innovate, you’ve got to step out of the box.

Key partners in the delivery of innovation in D2N2 are the region’s three Universities.

On the 29th October, they are coming together with D2N2 LEP and businesses in an Innovation Summit event from 7.30 am to 11 am in the Newton building, Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University.

Come along and find out what support is available to help your businesses innovate. This is an opportunity to meet people offering this support and discuss how they can help you.

The morning will include presentations and a networking and innovation fair with representatives from regional support programmes. Lindsay Allen, Senior Programme Manager D2N2 LEP will give an overview on current business innovation programmes in the D2N2 area.

You will also hear from companies who are already involved in exciting innovations through collaborations with Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby.

If you want to keep your business moving forwards then this event will give you lots of practical new ideas and contacts to help your business innovate.

The D2N2 Growth Hub is offering 40 small and medium sized businesses FREE one-to-one innovation support.

The support will be delivered by a highly experienced professional from Pera Consulting and will help you to do the following to protect and grow your business: –

  • Identify opportunities for innovation
  • Use innovation tools and processes
  • Develop an innovation culture

For maximum impact from this support, key staff will need to be available to participate in up to one full day of consultancy support held at your premises. You must also be able to invest some time to embed the results of this support within the business.

If you are interested in applying for this support, please contact: Rebecca Littlewood on 07920 563578 or

If you are attending the Derby Business Expo on Friday (30th October), you may also wish to take advantage of a taster session for this support programme at 3.00pm in Workshop 1.

Through the Business Growth Service, businesses can also access support with design mentoring. This includes Design Council’s offer, ‘design intensive’ (for businesses with a turnover of £5m+), and the more general design support called design coaching.

Information on support for innovation and developing new products can be found on the D2N2 Growth Hub website here.

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