Edge Hill University opened its doors to welcome members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) from across Lancashire and the North West. The Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) at the TEF Gold rated University launched earlier this year and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Regional members of the IoD were invited to attend the centre of excellence to gain an insight into the valuable support available to SMEs at the University to stimulate profitable growth.

The PIC is the University’s primary link between industry and external partners to supports the growth of the local, regional and national economy through a range of diverse research and funded projects. 

The unique Profitable Innovation Programme is just one of the ways SMEs can receive support and access business expertise at the University.  The Programme aims to engage SMEs in rapid innovation processes to develop new products, services and business models, resulting in increased profits and growth.

Members of the IoD from a range of sectors, participated in a practical session to provide a taste of the unique Profitable Innovation Programme.  The event was delivered by Professor Simon Bolton who is a global thought leader with extensive experience of implementing successful change within international brands including Procter & Gamble, the BBC and Nokia.

Simon is an expert in innovation, specialising in improving and developing the dynamic capabilities of SMEs through a unique Optimal Decision-Making framework.  Businesses that are eligible can receive fully-funded assistance to attend the Programme. Since early 2018, 27 SMEs have successfully completed the Programme and the results are already speak for themselves. 

David Marsh, Director of OFG Ltd, Business Consultants was one of the first businesses to complete the Programme. David explains, “The Programme provided us with the time and framework to clarify who we are, what we are good at and who we should take our services to.”  Within 3 months of completing the Programme OFG Ltd launched a brand-new service, acquired new long-term clients and employed a new Financial Director.

The Profitable Innovation Programme has been described as “Lancashire’s best kept secret” by those who have attended and are now reaping the rewards.

Simon Bolton explained, “We are receiving more and more referrals from the businesses who have completed the Programme, demonstrating the significant value they place on their experience and positive outcomes. We are delighted to be working with members of the IoD to share our professional expertise and business support opportunities.”

Claire Ebrey, North West Regional Director for the IoD said ‘I was delighted to bring Lancashire leaders from different sectors to Edge Hill to hear about this fully-funded programme that is available to help them grow their businesses. I am sure that there will be considerable take up from across Lancashire.’