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£10 million funding to see SME’s benefit from graduate talent

Published: Sunday, 27 November 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

The University of Derby has been awarded £10 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide small businesses across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with innovative and support solutions.

Over the course of the next three years, small businesses will be able to benefit from a variety of support including access to university and graduate talent through placements and internships.

The ERDF is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014-20, which is managed by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Providing support for businesses

Nottingham University, Nottingham Trent University, Loughborough University, Aston University, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council will all be working alongside the University of Derby on a number of projects to provide support to businesses.

Professor Paul Stewart, Director of Innovation at the University of Derby, who is leading the projects, said: “The aim of the projects is to help small businesses to innovate, exploit new market opportunities, create new products and boost competitiveness and profitability.”

The University of Derby is participating in six funded projects including Enabling Innovation, a collaborative project involving the University of Derby, Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University which will see the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) provide advanced manufacturing and engineering companies with a number of fully funded opportunities to explore how technology can be harnessed to improve competitiveness.

Vital part of Derby’s economy

The aerospace, automotive and rail sectors account for half of the economic output from Derby’s economy and employ a third of the workforce.

Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Policy, Economic Development and Budget, Councillor Anne Western, described SMEs as a “vital part of Derbyshire’s economy”.

She added that the project will provide firms with state-of-the-art equipment and the expertise needs to drive innovation and efficiency improvements.

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