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Fully Funded, SME Innovation Support in the Tees Valley area

Mon, 25 January, 2021

The Tees Valley Innovation Accelerator (TIA) provides fully funded, tailored support to eligible companies who are looking for additional momentum to help them bring new products and services to market.  The TIA delivery team can help in areas such as the development of a proof-of-concept prototype, business plan and marketing strategy, manufacturing planning and much more, all of which are essential to introducing a breakthrough product or service to the market.  Key to the approach used by TIA is the leveraging of public grant funding to help scheme recipients collaborate with companies and research organisations to make their business ambitions a reality.

Following the launch of TIA in June 2020, 19 SMEs from a diverse range of technology areas including healthcare, energy, construction, digital/software development, space, education and engineering have registered for the programme and support is ongoing.  In line with the TIA scheme objectives, the team is working with these SMEs to provide individual support to help them along the next stage of their innovation journey and bring their ideas to market.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, support for SMEs was primarily delivered online in 2020, and this will continue in 2021 with plans to deliver quarterly online webinars and workshops, in addition to direct support in the form of 1-2-1 meetings with the TIA team.

In December 2021 a workshop on intellectual property (IP), in conjunction with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and legal experts Womble Bond Dickinson, was held for SMEs registered on TIA.  Future events will cover subjects such as: bid development for public funds; contracting – collaboration agreements vs commercial contracts; equality, diversity and Inclusion in innovation; strategic marketing; understanding impact; and innovation funding programmes.  In addition, there will be panel based events, including contributions from our Innovation Network partners, that focus on different sectors or technology areas.

If you are a Tees Valley based SME, please do get in touch:, as you may be eligible for support through TIA.  Suggestions for topic areas for events that would help you with your innovation plans are also welcomed.  Further details of the TIA scheme can be found on the TIA website.

The Tees Valley Innovation Accelerator is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the Northern Powerhouse region.  The project is receiving up to £1,575,338 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the ERDF.  Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration.  Find out more about European growth funding.

The Northern Powerhouse is a key aspect of this Government’s approach to addressing the productivity gap in the north and ensuring a stronger, more sustainable economy for all parts of the UK.  Alongside over €1.5billion of ERDF support for businesses and communities across the north, the Government has awarded £3.4billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Northern Powerhouse.

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