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Is my business eligible? See below for eligible guidelines.

If you have any questions please contact us.


Your business, or its R&D activities, must be located in the Northwest of the UK (Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire).


The organisation must have fewer than 250 employees (full time equivalent) and must have an annual turnover less than €50m euros (approx £43m).

Being innovative...

The centre was designed to address market failures and provide R&D to SMEs who otherwise would not be able to develop their ideas.

We want to work with businesses who

  • Have new ideas for products, processes and services, which deliver an environmental benefit over existing provision.
  • Can see the benefit of working with new, diverse thinkers who may challenge their conventional approach to business or to their industry.
  • Seek to expand their products and services into export markets

Which sectors are eligible?

The centre works with a diverse range of sectors including (but not limited to):

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Digital and creative
  • Energy and environmental technologies
  • High value manufacturing sectors

We cannot work with businesses which are based exclusively in the retail or tourism sectors.

What kind of R&D? Blue Sky? Technical Development? Prototypes?

Projects can cover any aspect of your business and R&D needs. Our expertise is broad and the research may take many forms, from intensive lab based studies to testing the feasibility of a new internal process or service through detailed market research.

Eligible types of project

  • Projects undertaken entirely within a university environment from which the SME would directly benefit via the commercialisation of new research.
  • Projects which aim to provide rigorous scientific validation to established or new products and services of partner SMEs.
  • Projects undertaken with an initial period within a university environment (1-2 years) and a subsequent period (3rd year) in an SME environment.
  • Projects undertaken on a dual-site basis with graduates spending regular periods of time within both an SME and university environment (e.g. over a week or month timescale).
  • Projects which use and evaluate established products and services (from a partner SME) for new markets.