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Coventry University supports innovation via the Innovation Network (10k Grants Av)

Submitted by on August 2, 2013 – 8:45 am |


Measuring blood oxygen levels with - Investing in innovationWhether you’re an individual with a great idea for a new invention, or a small firm with an innovative product that needs developing, Innovation Networks could offer the support you need.

Innovation Networks has already assisted over 300 businesses resulting in new sales in excess of 14m. The project is open for business with funding to support another 150 SMEs in the West Midlands.

Shrewsbury based inventor and keen mud runner, Mike Drage, had a ‘eureka’ moment when out running one morning. He identified the need for an alternative to the safety pin, traditionally used to secure numbers to the shirts of runners and other athletes. With the help of one of his partners he developed a new fastening system called EventClip which would not leave holes in the competitors’ tops and could be branded.

Mike is now working with his second partner on a marketing plan to launch EventClip around the world. Mike accessed the funding available through Innovation Networks to help with the costs of producing EventClip. Mike said: ‘All too often Great British world-beating inventions never make it to market. By accessing Innovation Network’s funding this concept will become reality.’

WB Timber Innovations in Hampton in Arden are working on developing a new product in conjunction with a project management company and a traditional timber supply company.

Their innovation is a high specification timber framed building which has a variety of uses; from an office in the garden to an outdoor gym. The innovation is in the modular system, the mechanism which links the components together and the thermal efficiency of the building. Director David Himmons commented: ‘The application process was straightforward and help was available to guide us through. Once claimed, payment was made swiftly.’

Whether you’re an individual with a great idea for a new invention, or a small firm with an innovative product that needs developing, Innovation Networks could offer the support you need. This will make a huge difference to our product line and profitability and make our USP even more unique Up to £10,000 match funding is available and can be used for both capital and revenue activities

Tom Warrender, from Wolverhampton based, Classroom Medics runs events in schools to inspire pupils to engage with science and, in particular, to consider lesser known careers available in medicine. Classroom Medics applied for funding from Innovation Networks to develop a completely new workshop experience.

Their hands-on workshops allow participants to perform key-hole surgery (on a very special box of tricks) and take a picture of their own retina on an iPhone. Tom said: ‘The Innovation Networks funding has allowed us to bring forward developments that we had planned for the next 18-24 months so the new programmes will be out in schools sooner. This will make a huge difference to our product line and profitability and make our USP even more unique!’

To be eligible for funding, the lead company needs to be working in collaboration with two or more other small businesses within the region. Up to £10,000 match funding is available and can be used for both capital and revenue activities. An application is submitted outlining the work to be carried out, highlighting the innovative aspects and demonstrating the market potential. All projects are independently assessed.

To find out more about the Innovation Networks project, visit: www.innovation-networks.co.uk or email innovation@cad.coventry.ac.uk


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