Innovation

Are you wanting to do something different in your business but not sure how to get there? Our team of Innovation Growth Managers can help you identify and access the right support to make it a reality.

ERDFAny business that wants to make positive change through new ideas and new ways of doing things, or has a forward-thinking approach to their work, is innovating. Innovation is crucial to building sustainable businesses in our City Region – it is a source of competitive advantage, it creates efficiencies, increases revenues and improves productivity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of businesses doing things differently; having the agility to become more resilient, flexible and reactive to the economic changes and new ways of working.

If you’re an SME in Leeds City Region looking to develop a new product, have an idea for a new service or can see ways to improve your processes, yet feel unsure about the next steps or how to make it happen, we are here to help.

Our ambition at the LEP, as part of the West Yorkshire Innovation Network, is to create an inclusive and collaborative environment for innovation to thrive in our City Region, connecting businesses with the right support to make their ideas or projects become a reality.

Ideas come through collaboration and the LEP’s innovation support service connects SMEs with the right people, helping businesses through the ecosystem of innovation resources. Our team of Innovation Growth Managers are your brokers, coordinating your specific needs with relevant support.

Does your business need help with a new product, process or service?

Our team of Innovation Growth Managers work with you to help you access the right support. Download our leaflet for more information.

Connecting Innovation

Our independent and specialist innovation service, Connecting Innovation, is one way for businesses to navigate what innovation support is available.

Connecting Innovation provides SMEs with up to 12 hours of support (or more if required) with an Innovation Growth Manager, helping to:

  • Implement innovative practices or processes into your business
  • Access specialist expertise from the network of universities, catapult centres (not-for-profit, independent technology and innovation centres), research organisations, advisory services and private sector organisations
  • Provide ongoing one-to-one support to help make your project a success, through to implementation
  • Access funding or grants to support projects, including:
    • Kickstart Innovation Fund: LEP funding for collaborative innovation projects of up to £25,000
    • Advice about local, regional or national innovation grants

Get in touch to see how we can help you on your journey. Connecting Innovation is delivered by the LEP in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund for England and the Local Growth Fund.

Get in touch for advice or support

To discuss your project or innovation needs further, please contact our Business Support Service helpline on 0113 348 1818 or email us.

All things Innovation

  1. Keeping focus on the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival

    In March, we saw the inaugural collaborative innovation festival, an opportunity to celebrate just a small snapshot of innovation activity in the region. Chair of the Business, Innovation & Growth Panel, Andrew Wright, comments on what's next.

    Read more about Keeping focus on the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival
  2. Women in innovation: Maddie Julian of DigiBete

    To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have spoken to two female innovators in our region to celebrate their achievements, find out about their work and what it means to be a female in their industry, as well as sharing their advice to other women who are looking to innovate.

    Read more about Women in innovation: Maddie Julian of DigiBete

Space Hub Yorkshire

The LEP and Yorkshire Universities are leading on the development of Space Hub Yorkshire, through a new programme funded by the Government and backed by the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Inclusive growth:

As part of the LEP’s commitment to delivering inclusive growth that benefits everyone, we have introduced new measures to encourage businesses to maximise their positive impact on the region.

If you receive a grant of £25,000 or over, you will be expected to make additional inclusive growth commitments. There are lots of different ways businesses can get on board, from volunteering in a local school to becoming a real Living Wage employer.

Additionally, businesses receiving a grant of less than £25,000 are encouraged to volunteer to undertake an inclusive growth commitment.

The LEP and its network of partners can help businesses to access several products and services that will help them to take these positive actions. Initial guidance and advice on these commitments are available here.

West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2021

Held 15-19 March, there were 41 events from 21 organisers and 1,500 attendees. The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival was created to inspire, encourage and support innovation for businesses in the Leeds City Region.

Case studies

"The facilities that the LEP offer are fantastic, but more importantly, the people that are behind those facilities really engage and help you make the right decisions as you move forward." Chief Operating Officer, Xalient