Your chance to shape government support for SMEs

May 24, 2018 - 9:00am

Your chance to shape government support for SMEs

Complete this online questionnaire on innovation, and so help to determine how the UK supports SMEs when EU funding stops.

Lancashire has benefited from EU Structural Funds, which underpin many of the programmes delivered by the Chamber of Commerce in the region.

The county has been allocated £211m under the current Structural Fund programme to 2020. Only London, Leeds, Manchester and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly received higher allocations.

The Government has promised to underwrite ongoing projects at the point of Brexit but, beyond that, proposes to replace EU structural funds with a UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

But it is not yet clear how much money will be available, nor the funding mechanisms through which it will be distributed.

To help shape policy Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency, has chosen the University of Cumbria to carry out research that explores the realities SMEs in Lancashire face around innovation.

As such it is seeking the views of businesses like yours.

Click here to complete the University’s online survey.

Responses are anonymous.

The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper puts emphasis on innovation as a crucial element of a dynamic economy.

As such, support for innovation will be a major plank of the support for SMEs delivered through the Shared Prosperity Fund.

Yet, the University of Cumbria says, SMEs have largely been neglected in previous research on innovation and knowledge transfer.

This research aims to put that right.

Catherine Carr, a Research Associate at the University, said: “It will explore the factors that contribute to the dynamic capabilities of SMEs in North Lancashire, the way in which knowledge is created and utilised within organisations and the competitive advantages that arise from this.

“Intuitively, we know that the local specificities of geography, demographics, transport, networks and so on all impact on the ways in which we can innovate and drive change, but this is an area which is under-researched.

“Our team hopes to focus attention on ‘place-based innovation’ and, in doing so, inform the development of new funding mechanisms that will prove to be more useful and impactful for SMEs in our region.”