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Partnership launched to link region's innovative firms with research breakthroughs

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A new partnership between seven universities and colleges across the East of England aims to help businesses take advantage of breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative. The EIRA project – enabling innovation: research to application –  has been awarded £4.7m from Research England and is open for applications from businesses looking to innovate by working with academics.

The initiative aims to support the national industrial strategy to drive growth and increase productivity in the region by changing the way businesses connect with universities and colleges. Led by the University of Essex working with the University of East Anglia and the University of Kent, the network also includes Harlow College, Norwich University of the Arts, the University of Suffolk and Writtle University College.

EIRA director Kirstie Cochrane said: “Artificial intelligence is transforming all sectors of our economy, biotechnology is having an impact on everything from food production to medicine and the East of England is recognised as a centre of excellence in the digital creative sector. EIRA is aiming to support the development of businesses in the East of England which are taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by these fast moving sections of our economy.”

With a range of majority-funded grants available, EIRA aims to help businesses of all sizes develop new products, services, and solutions. Support includes innovation vouchers to fund access to academic expertise and R & D grants as well as innovation internships and start-up microfinance. Other partners include BT, TechEast, AgriTech East, Digital Catapult, South Essex LEP and New Anglia LEP. ocal Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP).

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 January 2019 08:10 )