Growing firms get ready for the BIG time

Sep 04, 2019

manufacturer Versalift UK, based at Burton Latimer, received BIG funding earlier this year.

A FRESH opportunity to receive up to £5,000 funding to boost growth and develop ideas awaits organisations across Northamptonshire.

The University of Northampton Business Innovation Grant enables organisations in the county to work with the university’s academics and facilities, with the aim of developing new products, processes, services, gaining new insights or generally developing business.

This is the second round of BIG funding offered by the University in 2019. The first round, held earlier in the year, attracted around 50 applications, with six organisations being successful.

One of those was Burton Latimer-based manufacturer Versalift UK, which used the BIG fund to link up with the university’s engineering department to develop a new process that will save both time and money. Click here.

Now the university is calling on businesses and other organisations to apply and outline their ideas.

Organisations and businesses are invited to express their interest in BIG, outlining their ideas.

“Applications are welcomed from all organisations and businesses in Northamptonshire,” said Charlotte Patrick, the University of Northampton’s key sector and knowledge transfer manager. “You could be looking to improve productivity processes as a manufacturing or logistics company or perhaps enhance a technical function in your family owned business or manage waste created by your food manufacturing processes.

“We have a huge breadth of expertise here at the university – from lifts to footwear, tourism to apps, waste to polymers – and we want to use our knowledge to better businesses in the county.”

Expertise at the university includes:

  • Health & wellbeing
  • Ageing society
  • Dementia
  • Heritage
  • Special educational needs
  • Social enterprise
  • Laboratory space
  • Cyber security
  • Polymers & coatings
  • Supply chains
  • Entrepreneurship
  • China & emerging economies
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • User-centred design
  • Management of wastes & resources
  • Lift technology
  • High performance engineering
  • Internet of Things
  • AI & robotics

The University is also home to four institutes:

  • Institute for Public Safety, Crime & Justice
  • Institute for Social Innovation and Impact
  • Institute of Logistics, Infrastructure, Supply and Transport
  • Institute of Creative Leather Technology

The deadline for expressions of interest is October. The University will then match each application to a relevant academic before it enters the competitive judging process in November.

To apply, email

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