Business Support

Cumbria Innovations Platform

The Cumbria Innovations Platform aims to help boost economic growth in Cumbria, by providing small and medium enterprises with a competitive edge. It will allow you to explore new ideas with practical and academic guidance. This platform is unique and diverse in its offerings as it combines the capabilities of various departments from the universities of Lancaster and Cumbria. Engineering, Management, Chemistry, Physics, Computing and more pull their capabilities together to enable multifaceted, tailored business support.

Who is it for?

This project supports directors and managers of Cumbrian SMEs seeking to create and develop new products, services or explore different market.

What support is available?

Innovation workshops

From concept through to commercialisation, these workshops will equip businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for today’s competitive market.

The workshops will cover various topics to enhance your business processes and encourage an innovative culture.

Innovation Development Programme

A six-month programme delivered by Lancaster University Management School which brings together a cohort of 20 business leaders with different skills, knowledge and experience to develop fresh perspectives.

The programme includes:

  • An overnight welcome event held in Cumbria to build trust and start discussion.
  • One day workshops covering: customer, market, and competitor analysis; idea generation, testing and validation; developing dynamic business models; creating an entrepreneurial culture; innovation in practise.
  • A company visit and a tour of operations at a regional company to highlight best practice for overcoming challenges
  • Access to masterclasses with world-class inspirational speakers

Next cohorts begin: January 2020

For more information, or to apply for your place, contact, call 01524 593679 or visit:

Unique facility access to £45m scientific equipment and facilities

You can test, develop, and make informed decisions to progress new products and services through access to cutting-edge science and technology equipment and knowledge from two universities. The following facilities are available, all supported by teams of experienced technicians:

  • Chemistry facilities for materials characterisation and synthesis
  • Energy facilities for battery testing and development
  • Engineering design, build and testing, including 3D printing capability
  • Physics facilities including quantum technology
  • Take a 360 tour inside our facilities for businesses: cTAP​   InfoLab21   Lancaster Environment Centre (We recommend these films are viewed on tablet and mobile or one of the following browsers – Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari.)

For more information contact Dr Alex Robson Telephone: +44 (0) 1524 5 93797

Digital Product Design

Our team can deliver and manage bespoke consultancy projects which give you access to the expertise and knowledge of the Computing and Communications team at Lancaster University. Develop your business through digital products and services, supporting growth and equipping your business for the future.

Some examples include:

  • Analysis of business processes and systems to identify underused data and knowledge assets
  • Exploration of digital solutions to solve future business challenges or opportunities
  • Investigation of new digital products and service concepts
  • Development of digital prototypes to assess concept and feasibility

For more information contact Stewart Kember

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510 444

Funding and eligibility

This programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is available to ERDF eligible companies.

  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Lancaster University Management School
  • University of Cumbria

Get in Touch

Contact us today for help and advice on starting or growing your business.

Tel: 0844 257 8450