Cumbria Innovations Platform


Now in its 4th successful year the ERDF funded Cumbria Innovations Platform aims to help boost economic growth in Cumbria by providing micro, small and medium enterprises with innovation support.  We provide unique and diverse business innovation support drawing on the capabilities from the universities of Lancaster and Cumbria.

Cumbria Innovations Platform will enable you to explore new ideas by providing practical guidance and support.  Whether you have a brand new product or service idea or are further developing an existing product of service, we can support you to take it to the next level.

Find out how Cumbria Innovations Platform can help your business

Funded Internships and Masters Research placements

University of Cumbria will match your business innovation needs with a suitably skilled and experienced student supported by a subject specialist academic supervisor. 

  • Internships provide 20 days of flexible research support to meet the innovation needs of your business.
  • Masters placements provide up to 4-months of in depth research

Innovation Master Classes and Events

A programme of funded masterclasses and events created to meet the needs of businesses innovation. The programme focuses on different aspects of the innovation journey i.e. funding innovation, commercialising innovation, intellectual property rights and much more


Access to unique facilities and digital expertise

Product prototyping is costly but eligible businesses can access funded support directly from Lancaster University.  SMEs have benefitted from a variety of interventions provided by Lancaster University i.e. testing, analysis, and digital support.


6-month innovation development programme for business leaders

Provided by Lancaster University Management School, designed for business leaders with a desire to explore innovation challenges (may be sector specific). 


Find out about the benefits of Cumbria Innovations Platform to your business

  • Access to knowledge and insight to support and develop your innovation
  • Gain tools which shape your innovation business ideas and inspire an innovation culture
  • Access extensive research and development support at state of the art laboratories and facilities
  • Reduce the risk and address the barriers and challenges to innovation within a supportiveEnvironment
  • Develop new products and services
  • Speed up innovation and market entry to gain competitive advantage
  • Accelerate business growth
  • Create a network of like-minded businesses to explore and share new ideas

What businesses have to say

"This has been really worthwhile in helping me develop my understanding of international markets and cultures’" Naz Craig, owner of Bownessie

Thank you for your support, time and understanding around the projects my business works on. I appreciate everything you have done to make this happen." Carl Hodges – Owner/director Innovation Technology Office

Find out how Cumbria Innovations Platform can help students

Research placements and internships are an ideal way for students to extend their research skills, enhance employability by researching for a real business, strengthen CVs and gain excellence references.  In addition CUSP research students get paid by the University Of Cumbria for the work they do.

There are 2 routes to securing student research opportunities; paid internships lasting for a maximum of 140 hours and paid* Masters research placements lasting for the duration of the student’s research modules, usually up to 4 months (*stipend paid each month of the research dissertation module).

All students are supported by academic supervisors and mentored by the Project Manager.  We are on hand to answer any questions you may have and to ensure that your placement is enjoyable and productive.

Group of students holding innovation lightbulbs


Internships are usually worked flexibly and can be done on campus or with the business. Students often undertake internships whilst studying and some use the experience as a theme for their dissertation.

Masters research placements

Masters students usually use the 4-month placements to generate evidence for their research dissertation. Like internships, the master’s placements are flexible and can be managed alongside other commitments.

Find out about the benefits of undertaking a student research placement or internship

  • Getting paid fairly for the research you do
  • Adding to your CV by increasing your skills, knowledge & experience
  • Helping you to gain an insight into the way organisations operate and the challenges they face
  • Giving you and the employer a chance to 'try before you buy' and clarify whether this type of work is really for you
  • Providing opportunities to gain evidence and research for your dissertation
  • Reasonable travel expenses will be paid
  • Linking the research to your dissertation

What students have to say

"The internship helped me to gain clearer understanding of future career opportunities. I had thought about becoming self-employed and working alone but this opportunity has shown me the benefits of working in a team." Beth Martindale – My Way Code intern

How to search and apply for Student Internships & Masters Placements

Student internship opportunities are advertised on the current vacancies section of the University Of Cumbria website.  You will need to formally apply for each opportunity as you would with a normal job application.  If your application in successful you will be invited for an interview with the project manager and the business owner.

If you would like help with your application, preparing your CV or would like an informal chat about any of the opportunities please contact:

Sarah Allison – Project Manager, Cumbria Innovations Platform – or call 07969 768919


Be the first to hear about opportunities by registering your interest and signing up here.

Find out about Innovation Masterclasses and Events

The University of Cumbria offers a series of practical masterclasses and events designed to help businesses gain the tools to shape innovative ideas. From concept through to commercialisation, these Masterclasses and events equip businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for today’s ever competitive market.

Topics can be mixed and matched depending on individuals’ areas of interest and where their organisation is on the innovation journey. Businesses are required to attend at least two

Masterclasses of their choice over a 12 month period, which are tailored around the needs and demands of participating businesses and will encourage networking between participants.

Benefits of joining Cumbria Innovation Platform Masterclasses & Events

  • Learn how to foster an innovation culture
  • Examine the product/service development process
  • Learn about routes for financing innovation
  • Find out about Intellectual Property, Licences, Trademarks and Patents Develop an understanding of the innovation journey from idea and concept to commercialisation
  • Access coaching to meet your business innovation needs
  • Networking with other like-minded business leaders and professionals

Masterclasses and events

For upcoming innovation workshops for SME's in Cumbria (and other events at the University of Cumbria), see below:

Support is available to European Regional Development Fund eligible companies. To find out if your company is eligible for support please


For more information please contact


Sarah Allison – Project Manager, Institute of Business, Industry & Leadership

07969 768919


CUSP 2 logostrip,




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