“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs

Did you know..?

England has all the ingredients necessary for success in research, development and innovation and many strong and internationally competitive firms across the country invest heavily in R & D.

The latest figures for 2014, show that the gross domestic expenditure on research and development (R&D) performed in the UK, in current prices, increased by 5% to £30.6 billion compared with £29.3 billion in 2013 whilst UK businesses invested  £19.1 billion in R&D in 2015.

Research shows that research activity is underpinned by Higher Education Institutions and Public Sector Research Establishments and therefore innovation and Universities go hand in hand. During 2011/12, for example, Universities delivered contract research and consultancy services worth £1.2 billion.

Innovation & The Optimise Hub

Our mission is to help you innovate using the latest digital technologies to introduce the benefits of Industry 4.0 to your business. We can help you by keeping you abreast of the latest news in Innovation funding  and can also support you to apply for funding if required.

Regional Innovation Ecosystem Survey

Currently we are conducting a study into the unique innovation ecosystem that exists along the South Coast region and are looking to talk to local businesses to understand their digital requirements. If you can spare 5 minutes to complete our survey we would be most grateful. Alternatively we are happy to chat with you in person, or even visit your premises if that would be more convenient.

Once we better understand the manufacturing landscape here along the South Coast we will be able to better tailor our services to meet local business needs. The aim is to build on theses existing services as the Hub continues to grow and we hope to attract additional inward investment over the next 3 years in order to be able to create a Hub that offers longevity and can truly encourage innovation and value from real-time data.

If you think you can help us achieve this, then please contact us.

The UK Innovation Ecosystem

Innovate UK  is a business led Government partner organisation with a role to stimulate and accelerate innovation in those technologies which have the greatest potential for boosting growth and productivity. They fund and manage a number of products or ‘tools’ that encourage more business to invest in innovation. These include:
• Collaborative R&D – helping businesses and researchers to work together on science, engineering and technology innovation.
• Innovation Vouchers – designed to encourage businesses to look for new knowledge to help them grow and develop.
• Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – offering businesses the opportunity to work with academic institutions to gain access to new knowledge.
• Launchpads – supporting innovative projects by high-tech companies that are clustered around specific themes and geographical locations.
• Smart – offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises for R&D projects in science, engineering and technology.
• Knowledge Technology Networks – enabling the UK’s innovation communities to connect, collaborate and discover new opportunities.
• Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a national programme also managed by the Innovate UK which supports a broad range of innovative companies, especially small businesses, to develop ground-breaking solutions to specific public sector needs through a competitive procurement process.

The Catapults are also a key part of the Innovation Ecosystem here in the UK. They receive broadly equal funding from the core Innovate UK grant, from research and development grants won by the Catapult in collaboration with business, and from contract research funded fully by business. Their role is to provide the following:

  • Specialist technical expertise and skills needed across the sector from SMEs, supply chains and tier one companies
  • High value capital equipment, facilities and infrastructure beyond the affordability of individual companies
  • Technology and sector leadership
  • Long term investment in technology platforms or demonstrators

Other ways to generate R&D investment

The Research and Development (R&D) Relief is a Corporation Tax relief that it is intended to reduce a company or organisation’s tax bill if it is investing in eligible R&D activity.

The Patent Box enables companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from its patented inventions and certain other innovations.

The British Business Bank is 100% Government owned, but independently managed. It brings expertise and Government money to the smaller business finance markets. We don’t lend or invest directly. Instead we work with over 80 partners such as banks, leasing companies, venture capital funds and web-based platforms.


“I believe in Innovation and that the way you get Innovation is you fund the research and get the basic facts” Bill Gates