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  • Businesses urged to apply for funded innovation workshops

    Small to medium-sized businesses in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding are being urged to apply for places on funded two-day workshops designed to help them innovate.

    Eligible businesses must employ less than 250 people, have turnover of less than €50m, and be able to send participants who have significant responsibility for innovation.

    Sectors which can apply include: food and drink; bio science; digital and creative media; health and social care; electronics and manufacturing using biological and chemical materials.

    Attendees will benefit from specialist seminars, designed specifically for the small number of participating businesses, delivered by highly experienced practitioners; practical, real-world expertise and tools and the development of an innovation plan that can be applied directly to their business.

    The topics covered include: types of innovation; strategies for growth; the innovation process; dynamics of change; process efficiency and effectiveness; innovation tools and techniques and risk, reward and financial planning.

    Mark Gunthorpe, Head of the University’s Economic Development Team, said: “We want as many small to medium-sized companies to take advantage of this workshop programme as possible.

    Innovation is vital to business growth and the skills developed at these workshops will help companies to either develop new  products or expand their current project range.”

    James Buffoni from the Ryedale Group, who previously attended the workshops, said “The programme was highly valuable to our business. The course was tailored to our requirements with tools that were used in the business the following morning.”

    The next workshop takes place on the 24th April in Knaresborough.  Further workshops will take place in May, October and November in Malton, Northallerton and Beverley.

    The workshop programme is being delivered by the University of York as part of the Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. As well as the workshops, PAPI provides grants for equipment that enables innovation through new product development.