North East England’s universities are joining forces under a GBP3.9m scheme to connect the region’s businesses with research to encourage growth and job creation.
The Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) will see Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities work directly with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new services and products for the market.
The three-year programme is being led by Durham University. It has been funded by GBP2.2m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with additional funding coming from the four partner universities.
Up to 48 SMEs will each be supported by a dedicated PhD research student, as well as access to senior academic researchers and university research facilities.
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Durham University, said: “Durham University is proud to be leading this innovative project which will directly connect small and medium size enterprises with the considerable research and innovation strengths of the region’s universities.
Universities have an important role to play in the region’s economic development and the Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme will provide companies with access to the very best research and facilities to enable them to grow their businesses.”