Universities share in £4.6m funding to boost businesses

De Montfort University, Brunel University London and Nottingham Trent University are to share in £4.64m of Government funding.

The universities have come together with industry bodies to to create a specialist company called Impacting Business By Design to work with SMEs to commercialise ideas and innovations.

The universities says that Impacting Business By Design will provide design, technical, and development support, incentivise investment and nurture design innovation skills, culture and systems in SMEs and entrepreneurs. It also aims to increase the number of new products being brought to market in the UK, increasing investment and protecting the country’s industrial competitiveness.

The universities will work in collaboration with the British Industrial Design Association (BIDA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA), EEF The Manufacturers’ Organisation, and Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

The cash is part of a £67m investment by Research England as part of the National Productivity Investment Fund.

Professor Peter Ford, professor of design at DMU’s Design Unit who is leading on the project, said: “This funding recognises the excellent track record in design research not only here at DMU’s Design Unit but at Brunel and Nottingham Trent, as well as the close industry partnerships which all three universities share.

“Impacting Business By Design has a huge potential to not only bring more products to market but to make it easier for SMEs and entrepreneurs to innovate, create jobs and grow the UK economy.”