Over 40 businesses benefit from University’s free upskilling workshop

Tue 13 December, 2022
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The University of Bedfordshire recently hosted a free grant-writing event for businesses as part of the Arc Innovation Festival 2022, reflecting on the institution’s commitment to supporting, encouraging and developing economic growth in the region.

In partnership with the Arc Universities Group, SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) and Innovate UK, the Arc Innovation Festival (5th – 9th December) saw over 800 businesses and local leaders take advantage of a range of informative events provided for free by multiple universities and government bodies, all recommending specific business opportunities and providing expert advice in order to help organisations increase their innovative and economic footprint.

Bedfordshire’s grant-writing workshop attracted almost 60 business representatives from 46 regional organisations from across the SEMLEP area, with attendees travelling from as far as London, Cambridge, Oxford and Devon. This particular event provided insight into the process of grant applications from start to finish and focused on assisting SMEs and larger organisations in developing successful grant funding submissions.

Grants are an invaluable asset for businesses of all sizes, as they support the organisation and its employees, encourage innovation and – ultimately – accelerate economic growth within the Oxford-to-Cambridge region and beyond.

Professor Andrew Church, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, said: "It was excellent to see so many enthused and forward-thinking business leaders gathered together at the University of Bedfordshire for our grant-writing workshop.

"We believe we can help our regional business community to unlock their potential and create new innovative ways of doing business in the UK. With access to business support and grant funding opportunities through the University’s Research & Innovation Service, we are perfectly placed to guide organisations in developing innovative projects and ideas to aid business and economic growth."

As well as presentations by key business staff from the University of Bedfordshire’s Research & Innovation Service and the Business School, keynote speeches were also delivered by leading members of Innovate UK Edge, Innovate UK and SEMLEP, who highlighted potential challenges when developing grant submissions, as well as providing information about how to access live funding calls and useful business support programmes which are available across the region.

Julian Bowrey, Regional Manager for the South East and East Midlands at Innovate UK, said: "It was great to see so many businesses at the Arc Innovation Festival event hosted by the University of Bedfordshire. Grant-writing is an essential skill for most small business owners – and the ability to ensure they create a competitive grant application is ever more important with so many applying for support. 

"I’m passionate about helping local places thrive and as a result of this workshop, I am very much looking forward to seeing a rise in successful bids to Innovate UK from Bedfordshire and the wider SEMLEP region."

Businesses that are interested in discovering more about the University of Bedfordshire’s free support and consultancy can visit: www.beds.ac.uk/ris/we-mean-business

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