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Everything you need to know about the Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme (GRIP)

PUBLISHED: 17:06 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 03 January 2018

Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme (GRIP)

Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme (GRIP)


Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme is targeted at driving an innovation culture and increasing innovative capacity in Gloucestershire. Here’s everything you need to know about the programme...

Gloucestershire businesses, university academics and students were present at the official launch of the rapid prototype 3D printing lab based at the University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls campus on November 28. The 3D printer forms a part of the product design offer from the Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme, an ERDF funded programme based at the University of Gloucestershire which supports Gloucestershire SME’s looking to grow through innovation by providing access to university expertise and resources.

The evening event attracted over 50 attendees, including University of Gloucestershire Deputy Vice Chancellor Richard O’Doherty who formally opened the facilities with a short speech on the importance of emerging technology not only for businesses but also in ensuring that university students leave as both a graduate and an employee equipped with the skills needed for the modern workplace.

GRIP delegates at the Growth Hub GRIP delegates at the Growth Hub

This talk was followed by a short presentation by Rod Horrocks, Project Manager for the GRIP project, showing the benefits of 3D printing to companies compared to conventional deductive manufacturing. The talk outlined that 3D printing can allow multi-element products to be produced as one part, making product easier and cheaper. Even body parts. But arguably most importantly to SME’s in Gloucestershire 3D printing will allow new products to ‘Fail fast and fail cheap’ shortening the length of time products will need to get to market.

The innovation lab was manned by the students of D14 who have been trained to use the printer on behalf of the GRIP project, and who were available on the night to answer any questions about the capability of the design and printing facilities. The event was also supported by other partnerships to the GRIP project including Rebekka Bishop and Nicole Saunders from Gloucestershire STEM Network, along with the team members from Gloucestershire’s Accelerated Impact Network Support (GAINS) and Start up and Grow Enterprise (SaGE) two more ERDF projects based within the University. Together the event was able to showcase the new opportunities from the University of Gloucestershire to the wider business community and an opportunity to interact with services that will be fully funded and available to Gloucestershire SMEs until December 2019.

GRIP delegates at the Growth Hub GRIP delegates at the Growth Hub

What is GRIP?

Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme is targeted at driving an innovation culture and increasing innovative capacity in Gloucestershire.

Participants can enter the project, having satisfied the eligibility criteria, working with experts to develop an Innovation Growth Plan. This will be developed to cover a variety of specialist supported areas and will identify opportunities to;

• Meet existing or emerging local supply chain needs

• Identify opportunities for innovation in their current product/service portfolio

• Create new products or services through product design support and access to fully funded 3D printing facilities

• Identify potential for Intellectual property protection and exchange

• Accelerate their current product or service development through research and testing facilities

Who will be eligible?

The programme is open to all SME’s based in Gloucestershire who are actively seeking to innovate and who are working in one or more of the Smart Specialisation areas, Aerospace, Information Economy, including bid data and energy efficient computing, Professional Business Services, high value Manufacturing and Advanced Materials and Nano-Technology and/or in the ‘Great Eight Technologies’. The beneficiaries to the project must meet the definition of eligibility:

• Meet the EU definition of an SME, located in Gloucestershire LEP geographical area; and registered in the UK

• Be able to show potential for growth through innovation and productivity improvement.

• Be able to demonstrate the ability to develop a new product or process to the business or market within the lifetime of the project

The project:

1. Productivity, Technology and Design Research Service:

Development of local research programmes to co-create, disseminate and implement research that enables innovation in product and service development. The University can help SME’s to;

• Help embed the results of research into businesses.

• Engage in co-creation of research with other SME’s and large businesses to accelerate take up in the supply chain.

• Undertake productivity Audits (growth and scale up) and Innovation audits to develop capacity for ideation and creation.

• Engage in accelerated research informed product/service development.

This strand will also provide access to student placements, both long and short term to increase the capacity and capability of your business as opportunities arise.

2. Clusters and Networks

The second strand is the creation of clusters and networks based on smart specialisations covering High Value Manufacturing, Aerospace, Information Economy, Professional Services, Advanced Materials and Nano-Technology. Each network will seek to provide innovative solutions to gaps in the supply chain of large corporates and public sector organisations through;

• Pop-up Innovation teams

• Smart networks

• Tech Transfer networks

In some cases leading to bids for funds from Innovate UK or implementation of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships taken in conjunction with the University.

3. Specialist Supply Chain Activity

Within this strand the project will examine the local supply chains working with innovative teams of SME’s, Academic experts and students to produce plans for the development of products and services to plug present and forecasted future needs. SME’s will gain access to large corporate supply chains.

• Needs Analysis workshops

• Showcasing events for SME’s

• Innovation Labs seeking to solve particular needs with development partnerships.

Engagement with large corporates and public sector organizations will benefit businesses through improvements in their supply chains and innovative processes.

4. Commercialisation and IP

This strand manages high value academic assets and provide access to 3D printing enabling SME’s to engage in rapid prototyping and explore the business benefits of CAD to print. As part of the project, GRIP has teamed up with the Universities in-house Product Design consultancy D14 lead by students who can support in all things product design for companies wishing to design new product.

Those wishing to secure their intellectual property can receive free advice through our IP clinics, with opportunities receive up to a £1000 support in IP applications through our voucher scheme. We will also be providing a secure platform for those looking to exchange intellectual property.

All enquiries for GRIP should be sent to grip@glos.ac.uk.

Find @UoGGRIP on Twitter.


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