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 of various departments 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 new product or service idea or are further developing an existing product/service, we can support you to take it to the next level.
Whats on offer?
- Student research internships and placements (undergraduate, graduate & masters level
University of Cumbria will match your business innovation needs with a suitably skilled and experienced student intern. Internships last for 20 days and are flexible to meet the needs of your business. Student are paid and mentored by the University.
- Innovation workshops and events
A programme of workshops and events created to meet the needs of businesses innovation. Some events are sector specific i.e. manufacturing, food and drink, tourism and some focus on different aspects of the innovation journey i.e. funding innovation, commercialising innovation, marketing and coaching for innovation.
Workshops and events are free to attend for ERDF eligible businesses are advertised and bookable via Eventbrite
- Access to unique facilities and digital expertise
Product prototyping is costly but eligible businesses can access funded support directly from Lancaster University. SME’s 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. This programme begins with a 2 day residential followed by 1 day per month attendance over 6 months.
What are the benefits of the Cumbria Innovations Platform to your business?
• Access to knowledge and insight to develop your innovation journey
• Gain tools which shape your innovation business ideas and inspire an innovation culture
• Access extensive research and development workshops and state of the art laboratories
• Reduce the risk and address the barriers and challenges to innovation within a supportive environment
• 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
Sarah Allison – Senior Project Officer
Student internships - how to search & apply
Through Cumbria Innovations Platform the University Of Cumbria can provide student internships (Undergraduate, recent graduate and masters students) to work on innovation projects within your business.
The internships last for 20 days (140 hours in total) and may be worked flexibly, at your business or on campus depending on your business needs. Students are paid and mentored by the University but assigned to your business for the duration of the internship. We have experienced a great deal of success with our internships!
Paid opportunities are advertised on our current vacancies section of the website.
If you are interested in signing up for notifications of our internship opportunities, please sign up here.
Benefits of taking on an internship include:
- Getting paid fairly for the work 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
Reasonable travel expenses will be paid and an academic leader will support you whilst you are undertaking your internship and a dedicated project manager will help you along the way.
Here’s what our students and businesses have to say about the internship opportunities....
"This has been really worthwhile in helping me develop my understanding of international markets and cultures’" Naz Craig, owner of Bownessie
"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. I’ve really valued the social interaction and being part of a team’"Beth Martindale – My Way Code intern
"I’m looking forward to this and working on this project going forward.
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
Open Innovation Workshops
For upcoming innovation workshops for SME's in Cumbria, see below;
Intellectual Property Rights – the legalities In partnership with Baines Wilson LLP
5th March 2020
The Learning Gateway, University of Cumbria – Fusehill Street Campus, Carlisle – 9am – 1pm
Exploring the legal options, costs and requirements of protecting innovations, inventions and designs
2020 Innovation Summit
20th March 2020
9:30am – 4:30pm Whitehaven Golf Club
Our 4th Innovation Summit focusses on skills for Entrepreneurs and Innovation, what does it take to be an innovator or an entrepreneur?
We will be joined by some inspirational key speakers and presenters throughout the day with opportunities to join mini-workshops focussing on finance for innovation, being an entrepreneur, building resilience and much more.
26th March 2020
9am - 3:30pm, North Lakes Hotel, Penrith
Sustainable Eco Strategies for SME's
21st April 2020
9am - 3:30pm, Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Sustainable Green Finance
21st May 2020
People First Centre, Carlisle
Support is available to European Regional Development Fund eligible companies. To find out if your company is eligible for support please contact:
Sarah Allison – Project Manager