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Adopting new technologies

Evidence shows that businesses that have introduced digital and automated operations will see increased benefits in productivity, employee performance, and a reduction in operating costs, leading to faster and more sustainable growth.

Ashfield Accelerator Project: Adopting Digital

As part of the new accelerator programme funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), the programme is being delivered by East Midlands Chamber to offer support to local businesses to improve commercial operations and bring new products to market. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have access to specialist consultants to explore and adopt new technologies and take advantage of any national programmes, such as Innovate UK EDGE and Made Smarter.

In addition to this, SMEs will also have access to the new Ashfield Accelerator Grant which can provide between £8000 to £30,000 to support costs associated with adopting new technologies, research and innovation, trading overseas, decarbonisation and workforce development projects.

To find out about other grants available, please visit our Business Grants page.

The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub - East Midlands

This programme supports small and medium-sized manufacturers to become more competitive by harnessing the power of data. They provide access to state-of-the-art digital technologies designed to enhance productivity and drive growth, in addition to advice from industry leaders to help you navigate your businesses digital transformation journeys. The following funding opportunities are also available to support SME innovation projects:

  • Rapid demonstrators: Up to £50,000 for sensor and data integration projects.
  • National lighthouse projects: Up to £315,000 for comprehensive digital solutions.
  • Virtual testbeds: Up to £100,000 for utilizing pre-existing testbeds

Additional funding rounds will open in June and July; however the May round is closing soon. For more details, please visit SMDH funding opportunities

Did you know that you can also access sensor solutions for enhanced productivity for free? IoT solutions can be sued to optimize your operations in the following areas:

  • Power monitoring: Track equipment usage efficiently
  • Temperature monitoring: Maintain optimal conditions
  • Air quality monitoring: Ensure safety standards
  • Downtime capture: Minimize production halts
  • Job tracking: Streamline your production flow
  • SMDH MultiSense: Comprehensive data integration for a holistic view of your operations.

If you would like to know more, please contact Mark Scattergood:

Digital Skills Coach – Free support

SMEs can access support in the form of a student who can help them with their digital projects, this could be around social media, data management, email marketing, SEO, AI tools, digital marketing, MS Teams or more. This support is offered through a partnership with East Midlands Chamber and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Barclays Eagle Labs

Barclays have been awarded a £12 million digital growth grant by the government, to create several support programmes that will assist tech businesses across the UK. These programmes will run for 2 years and are aimed at boosting the growth of UK tech start-ups and scale-ups.

The support programmes include:

  • Product builder programme - A challenge-based programme for early stage start-ups, so they can learn about the fundamentals of designing and testing a minimum viable product
  • Funding readiness programme - Designed to help growing businesses understand and navigate the UK’s funding landscape
  • Scale-up programmes - Delivered by expert partners to provide rapidly growing businesses with the support they need to further scale their growth
  • Industry bridge programmes - Bridging together larger businesses and start-ups within industry sectors to share strategic thinking and co-create solutions and innovation
  • Black founder venture growth programme - Targeted support for established black founder-led businesses to help them drive growth and scale
  • Female founder accelerator - A programme that connects and supports female-founded technology businesses in their growth journey, while building a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Learn more about these free support programmes at the website links below:

East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC)

East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) provides free membership, support, and help to protect small and medium businesses across the region against cyber crime through a structured collaboration. EMCRC works in conjunction with local universities, businesses, and the 5 East Midlands police forces - Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Northamptonshire.

Enterprise Nation - Business Connected

Business Connected provides a series of free workshops, webinars and e-learning modules, designed to help businesses kickstart digital change, adopt new technology, and stay safe.

Amazon Small Business Accelerator

This is a free online educational programme for anyone who wants to start or grow a business online. Aspiring business leaders will be able to access more than 20 courses and over 50 videos of content on essential topics, such as ‘how to build a business online’, ‘supercharging operations’, ‘growing sales’, and ‘creating a social media presence’, bringing the best in class from the country’s small business experts and Amazon leaders.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and social enterprises located in rural areas can get a voucher worth up to £4500 for a business to help cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband. Small and medium-sized enterprises for this scheme are classed as having up to 249 employees and an annual turnover of no more than £36 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not over £18 million.

Page last updated: 11 June 2024