Developing new products and processes

Access the specialist expertise you need to innovate.

Whether you’re developing new products, services or process that could transform your business, innovation is one of the most important aspects growing a business.

From funding that can support research and development (R&D), to information on protecting your intellectual property (IP), and design leadership coaching, find out what support is available to you.

Get in touch for advice or support

Get in touch with our Business Growth Service and we can help you find the right support for your business needs. You can call us on 0113 348 1818 or email us for more information.

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Access Innovation

Access Innovation is a package of support available to businesses to develop new products and processes. We can help you to access funding, specialist workshops and one-to-one advice and expertise. There are two strands to the programme:

Funding to access specialist equipment/expertise

Collaboration projects: We can fund up to 30% of the cost of accessing specialist expertise, equipment or facilities. There are different types of research organisation and innovation specialists we can put you in touch with to help you to develop your project.

We can typically support projects of between £10,000 and £100,000 – ie. a maximum grant value of up to £30,000.

Equipment purchases: We can also fund up to 20% of the cost of purchasing equipment to bring new products or processes to market. Equipment purchases may be between £10,000 and £100,000 – ie. a maximum grant of up to £20,000.

How to apply: Please contact our business growth team on 0113 348 1818 or email Business.Growth@the-lep.com to discuss your project or innovation needs further.

Specialist innovation workshops and advice

Together, we will agree on an effective, sustainable and achievable action plan for your business.

Your business will receive support and coaching relevant to your company to help you tackle identified barriers and develop your approach to innovation. Activities and workshops include:

  • A dedicated Innovation Specialist to understand your challenges and guide you through our programme
  • Emerging technology insights based on your sector to inform and inspire your future innovation activity
  • Networking events with peer interaction, inspiring stories and innovation expertise on-hand
  • Bootcamp workshops to address specific practical innovation challenges.
  • One-to-one in-depth innovation management coaching, drawing on a pool of innovation experts and consultancy resources

How to apply: This support is delivered by our partner, RTC North. More information on the programme, workshop listing and details of how to register are available here.

Am I eligible?

In order to be eligible for support, your business must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) defined as:

  • Having fewer than 250 employees AND
  • A turnover of under c£40m OR a balance sheet of under c£35m
  • Not being part of a larger group of companies that takes it over this threshold
  • Based in the Leeds City Region (excluding Barnsley), ie. it has a trading address in the Leeds City Region
  • In an eligible sector – this generally excludes primary agriculture, banking and financial services, and those trading directly with consumers – eg. retail and hospitality.

If you are a research organisation

Find out about the latest live opportunities available.

You can also complete our contact form (downloadable Word doc) and we will email you with the latest live opportunities.

Innovate2Succeed

If you want fully funded expert support to manage your innovation, you can apply to Innovate2Succeed.

Fully funded by the European Commission and delivered through Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Innovate2Succeed is for ambitious companies that want to unlock their innovation management potential.

Innovate2Succeed offers up to seven days of fully funded, one-to-one, tailored support and will help you:

  • Plan innovation and commercialisation activity
  • Develop and implement practical innovation management processes
  • Connect to high-quality specialist advice, support and facilities
  • Create a culture of sustainable innovation
  • Become investment-ready and secure funding or finance

To find out more, please visit Innovate2Succeed.

Get in touch and see how we can work with you today

Contact our advisers on 0113 348 1818 or email BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com

Innovate UK

If you want to develop an innovative product or service, you can apply for funding from Innovate UK for between £5,000 and £10 million.

Innovate UK runs funding competitions to help you develop your innovative idea and make it successful. The competitions are open to all UK companies and winners are awarded funding to put their innovation into practice.

There are various competitions for different sizes of business and different industries. You can find out which competitions are open and apply online via their website

Am I eligible?

All kinds of UK-based businesses can apply, from pre-start-ups and new companies to large multi-nationals. Innovate UK also runs location-specific competitions, and some competitions are open to research organisations working with businesses.

Funding must be used for one of the following reasons:

  • To carry out a feasibility study to test your idea and make sure it will work
  • To create a new product or service, or improve an existing one through R&D
  • To work with other businesses or research organisations on collaborative projects

How to apply

You can find full eligibility details and apply on the gov.uk website or apply for a specific project on the Innovate UK website.

Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team here at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.

R&D tax relief from HMRC

Research and development (R&D) relief or tax credits could help to reduce your organisation’s tax bill, helping to offset the cost of R&D work.

For most companies this will come in the form of corporation tax relief. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) may be able to choose a tax credit in the form of a cash sum paid by HMRC.

You can only claim R&D relief if your business is liable for corporation tax. There are two schemes, depending on the size of your organisation; the SME scheme (for companies with less than 250 employees and less than £50m turnover) and the large company scheme (for those with more employees and turnover).

The SME scheme

Since 1 April 2015, the tax relief on R&D costs is 230%. This means, for every £100 of qualifying R&D costs, your company or organisation could have the income on which corporation tax is paid reduced by an additional £130 on top of the £100 spent. It also includes a payable credit in some circumstances.

The large company scheme

If you’re not an SME, tax relief is only available if you spend at least £10,000 a year on qualifying R&D costs in an accounting period.

Find out more

You can find out more about R&D projects and costs that might qualify for tax relief on the gov.uk website. For more information and help with making your R&D claim, contact one of the specialist HMRC units located throughout the UK.

Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team here at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.

Business and Intellectual Property (IP) Centre

If you have questions about business and intellectual property, the Business & IP Centre Leeds has a wide range of resources available to help you stay informed and protect your products and services.

The Business and IP Centre Leeds, offers three key services:

Business information: If you’re taking your first steps in setting up a business, targeting new customers, researching competitors or looking for new partners or markets, you can find useful information to help you.

Protecting your products and services: The Centre can guide you through the processes required to help protect your products and services using patents, trademarks, registered designs and copyright. They also provide guidance on getting your product to market.

Events and workshops: A range of activities, events and advice sessions are on offer to help you to access specialist information and connect with businesses from around the region.

Find out more

Visit the Business and IP Centre Leeds website to find out more and get the relevant contact details for your enquiry.

Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights, including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. If you need help with finding the right type of protection for your creation or invention, the IPO could provide the information you need. The Office focuses on four key areas:

Protecting your intellectual property: Copyright, patents, designs and trademarks are all types of intellectual property protection. By having the right type of protection, you can stop stealing or copying of:

  • The names of your products or brands
  • Your inventions
  • The design or look of your products
  • Things you write, make and produce

Trademarks: Find information on how to apply for and manage trademarks, as well as other services and the fees involved. Find links to all their services on the IPO website

Patents: Also on the IPO website, you'll find all the information you need on applying for patents including forms and fees, how to manage patents and patent disputes and overview of legal issues. Visit the IPO website to find out more.

Copyright: There's also information on the IPO website about managing copyright, including advice on resolving legal issues and using copyright abroad. Visit the IPO website for more information. 

The website also has information on registering designs, law and practice, and links to lots of other useful intellectual property information on the homepage

Find out more

To find out more please visit the IPO website. Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team here at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.

Bespoke Design support

Design can help you to evaluate opportunities, diagnose problems and find creative solutions for your business challenges.

The Design Council’s support programmes use design thinking, methods and processes to improve products, services and business strategy.

All Design Council support programmes are tailored to meet the specific needs of the client. Depending on the requirements of the programme, activity might include:

  • Full day workshops and masterclasses
  • Hands-on coaching to implement a project over time
  • Intensive coaching programmes for project teams
  • Skills training in design methods and processes
  • Mentoring to maintain focus and deliver outcomes

Pricing varies depending on the scope and duration of the support you require. Get in touch for an initial no-cost discussion about your needs.

Find Out More

To find out more and apply, contact  Ellie Runcie at innovation@designcouncil.org.uk or visit the Design Council website.

Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team here at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.