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East Midlands Development Agency

England's East Midlands has an enviable reputation as a first-class location for innovative businesses.

Competitive, central, cost-effective and well connected, the East Midlands combines a vibrant business community with great places to live. It has excellent connections to the UK and Europe ? and is home to world renowned international businesses such as Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Alliance- Boots, Astra-Zeneca and Bombardier.

Based around the cities of Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Northampton, the East Midlands is developing an environment where innovative businesses can thrive and benefit from shared resources, knowledge and expertise. Innovation is all about the exploitation of new ideas. In today?s fast moving and ever changing world, companies need to be able to adapt to change and take advantage of opportunities more quickly than competitors.

Nowhere is better equipped to help companies bring their innovative ideas to life than England?s East Midlands, the ideal region for businesses to relocate and innovate.

Nottingham City Centre


England?s East Midlands has major strengths in a wide range of business sectors. East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is responsible for economic development in the region and is investing heavily to ensure that businesses relocating to the area can develop innovative ideas and maximise their potential for growth. To achieve this, emda has established East Midlands Innovation, a regional science and industry council comprising senior representatives from businesses and universities, who are guiding the region through their Innovation Strategy and Action Plan.

As part of this strategy over £20 million is being invested by emda and its partners to establish and develop innovation networks (iNets) in the East Midlands. This money is being used for a range of activities, including the establishment of teams of experts to help businesses; the provision of grants for companies to explore ideas; enabling collaborations with universities and also the creation of facilities for businesses involved in the iNets.

The iNets are based on the principle that through sharing expertise, knowledge and ideas, businesses will develop, grow and become more innovative. This will in turn enable them to develop new services, products and processes which will give them a competitive edge.

The iNets are being established in the key sectors of:

The iNets utilise the expertise of stakeholders, including universities and colleges, industry bodies and other organisations which together can provide businesses with the expertise, support and resources they require.

For more details about the innovation strategy, including iNets, visit

iNets in action ? Healthcare and Bioscience

The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet is the first of the four iNets to be established in the East Midlands. The focus of the iNet is to help businesses in the healthcare and bioscience industry to exploit technologies, undertake research, overcome regulatory barriers and prepare them to access the global market place from the East Midlands.

The iNet is based at BioCity, Nottingham ? the UK?s largest bioscience innovation and incubation centre and a world renowned centre of excellence in the bioscience industry. Providing 12,000 square metres of world-class laboratories, BioCity is home to scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and others who have an interest in the biosciences and is the natural home for the Healthcare iNet in the region.

For more information about BioCity, visit


Excelling at science or technology is a major part of being a dynamic region. However, equally important and a fundamental part of economic success is putting that excellence to profitable use, by enabling the region?s businesses to exploit scientific knowledge through innovation. In order to allow businesses to take advantage of new technologies, a Regional Technology Framework (RTF) has been established for the East Midlands. This has identified a number of fast growing priority technology areas into which resources are being channelled. These priority technology areas are:

  • Materials
  • Design, engineering and manufacturing
  • Energy and waste
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Biotechnologies and therapeutics

Businesses relocating to the East Midlands that want to exploit technologies in these areas can benefit from support grants ranging from £5,000 to £20,000.

For more information about the Regional Technology Framework, visit


The East Midlands also boasts many world-class facilities for exploiting technologies. These are just a few of the outstanding centres of excellence that are based in the region:

  • The Energy Technologies Institute: A £1 billion centre of excellence in Loughborough, which was established to speed up the deployment of carbon technologies. It involves some of the world?s biggest companies such as BP, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar and Shell.
  • CEMMNT: The National Centre for Excellence in Metrology for Micro and Nanotechnology, also in Loughborough, which works with partners to enable companies to accelerate their own innovations.
  • The Space Research Centre: Based at the University of Leicester, it is an international leader in sensor technology, consultancy and the design and build of imaging devices.
  • Sports Technology Institute: A centre for world leading innovation which enables businesses to research and develop new products and design innovations in the sports industry.
  • Silverstone Innovation Centre: A purpose built innovation centre which provides a home for businesses providing services to the motorsports sector, which is based in the East Midlands.

These are just some of the many outstanding technology focused facilities to be found in the East Midlands.

To find out more about these and other centres in the region, visit


Businesses looking to relocate to the East Midlands can benefit from an unrivalled package of help and support. Whether businesses need assistance with relocation, expansion or collaboration, the England?s East Midlands team based at emda, can help. The services are confidential, free of charge and include property and site searches, regional tours and visits, introductions to research centres of excellence, introductions to government and private sector companies, as well as access to financial assistance and grants.



A range of financial support is available to businesses in the East Midlands, helping them to develop innovative ideas. emda has an ?escalator? of investment funds, to encourage the development of high growth businesses in the region and provide support programmes to help businesses secure the right funds. The support combines loans, along with equity funds and grants, which are available for research and development, and capital investment.

Companies looking to develop their innovative ideas are able to apply for grants ranging from £5k to £250k through emda?s Grant for Research and Development (GRD). In addition, businesses that are exploiting technologies in the Regional Technology Framework (RTF) sectors are able to apply for funding ranging from £5k to £20k; these grants are aimed at investigating the commercial feasibility of projects. Additional grants are available through the iNets to support innovation in the key sectors they are targeting.

We have also put in place a support service to help companies access funds that are available via Framework Programme 7, the main financial tool through which the European Union supports research and development activities.

Details of the grants available can be found at and also at


Our International Business Support Team can assist businesses to access the range of business support that is available in the region and can provide advice on subjects ranging from support with investment, resource efficiency, taxation, employment and many other issues.

Manufacturing businesses will benefit from the support provided by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), which provides in-depth consultancy and training for businesses in areas such as lean manufacturing techniques, product or process innovations and design advice. In addition, UK Trade & Investment helps businesses in the East Midlands to export their products all over the world through trade shows, export training and other advice and support.


To find out how the East Midlands can help your business to innovate through relocation, expansion or collaboration, contact:

England?s East Midlands
East Midlands Development Agency
Apex Court, City Link
Nottingham, NG2 4LA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)115 988 8400

Useful websites:
England?s East Midlands
East Midlands Innovation
East Midlands Development Agency

Added the 15 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1

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