Innovation was the hot topic up for discussion last week as a group of Lincolnshire SMEs gathered to share best practice and solve common problems.
The Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Innovation Council hosted an event with the Innovation Programme for Greater Lincolnshire where those attending were given the opportunity to help other SMEs solve issues they are facing within their businesses.
Earlier this year, the Innovation Council invited a group of six businesses to enrol onto a three-day programme to help overcome barriers to innovation. The aim of the programme was to provide an opportunity for SMEs to increase innovation by receiving support from a wider network of businesses.
At the networking lunch at Hemswell Court near Gainsborough, a new cohort of businesses from across Greater Lincolnshire was enrolled onto the three-day session and heard from the group’s original members.
One of the founding members is Emma Olivier-Townrow, Business Development Manager at Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal.
“We’re always looking for new ways to innovate, and I felt that any opportunity to step out of the workplace and identify opportunities for innovation had to be taken,” said Emma.
“This experience has brought so many rich opportunities back into the business and it’s been worth its weight in gold. After attending the first session, I went home and had a eureka moment which has led on to a wider strategic partnership for the county in the arts sector.
“The new cohort of businesses will go on the same journey we’ve been on and eventually it’ll create a bigger platform for innovation within the county.”
Many of the businesses in attendance have already benefited from the services provided by the Innovation Programme, including proof of concept grants and academic vouchers.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by the University of Lincoln, the programme aims to support growth across Greater Lincolnshire by increasing innovation.
Sue Cadd, Innovation Manager at Think Tank, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for some of Lincolnshire’s businesses to share best practice and work together to overcome common barriers to innovation.
“We’ve had some excellent feedback from the first cohort of businesses – all have said it’s been a worthwhile experience for them. The Innovation Programme aims to facilitate and increase innovation across Greater Lincolnshire to ensure long-term prosperity for the region.”