Worcestershire Proof of Concept programme

Worcestershire 'Proof of Concept' (POC) is an ERDF grant fund that has been designed to support local businesses to develop innovative new products and processes. Support is offered to applicants that aim to investigate, advance, protect and commercialise early stage innovative business ideas. The principal objective of the Proof of Concept fund is to encourage SME investment in innovation, specifically; creating products and services that are new to the company or new to the market.

Worcestershire Proof of Concept is a popular programme that has been available for several years. The latest round of funding was launched on February 13th 2019. The programme offers grants of up to £30,000, representing 40% of the total project costs. All costs must be external to the company and are claimed retrospectively. Worcestershire County Council delivers the grant fund in partnership with Central Technology Belt.

If you would like more information on the Worcestershire Proof of Concept grant fund please contact Worcestershire Business Central. Eligible businesses will be referred to Jane Holmes at Central Technology Belt, who will contact you to discuss your proposed project in more detail.

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Specialist Advice - Independent Advisors

A gap has been identified in the level of bespoke support for early ideas formation and problem solving particularly in the areas of emerging technologies and digital technologies where SMEs and entrepreneurs have limited, or expense prohibiting, access to cutting edge specialist knowledge. This tailored support (independent advisors in key business areas such as technology, commercialisations sales and marketing, Intellectual property) will determine and shape the potential commercial routes to market of new innovative ideas. The outcome of the support will be an increase in the number of innovative products and processes for emerging and disruptive technologies; and progresses successful innovations to market readiness.

The Make It Happen challenge

BUSINESSES CAN WIN BIG WITH WINN

An innovation scheme aimed at developing ideas from Worcestershire's entrepreneurs into successful, thriving enterprises.

The Make It Happen challenge invites anyone in the county with a business idea to submit their plans and, potentially, win a cash prize and a series of bespoke sponsorship packages from successful local businesses keen on helping to develop innovation and grass roots ideas.

2019 Make it Happen Challenge Coming Soon.

VIEW 2018 WINNER JOURNEY

Events

Sometimes being innovative is just about bringing the right people together or looking at the same things with fresh eyes. So, come along to WINN Wednesday and you'll have the chance to take part in fun, creative tasks and hear from pioneering speakers, because you never know when a new idea will develop!

Join us for WINN Wednesday and other activities including WINNing Innovation District Event, Masterclasses and Workshops and we promise you'll go away feeling inspired and encouraged by the great things going on in the region.

WINN Wednesday

Worcestershire is an innovative county and through WINN we want to celebrate and develop this.

We believe that great things happen when people get together, which is why we'd like you to join us. We are developing a community of inspirational individuals and brilliant businesses to help the region grow and become recognised nationally as a hub of innovative ideas and projects.

So, whether you want to connect, collaborate, co-ordinate or just be inspired, WINN should be your first point of call.

It doesn't matter whether you want to be innovative with your products, services or processes, or if you just want to celebrate diversity and entrepreneurship. We can help you to showcase your ideas, learn from other innovators and be inspired.

If you want to share your innovation journey or meet with like-minded individuals, why not join us for WINN Wednesday? This networking event is the perfect opportunity to launch new ideas and collaborate with other businesses and innovators in the region.

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Innovation Platform

The enterprise innovation management platform will support crowd innovation and will constitute the backbone of WINN Community.

There is a need to support Open Innovation (traditionally businesses innovate in a closed firm centric environment; open innovation is not solely firm-centric: it also includes creative consumers; communities of user of the end product and supply chains to innovate highly marketable products), new activity will include an ideas management platform, which is a specialist collaboration tool designed to enable the generation, development, evaluation and selection of ideas supporting innovation.

It will be used to connect major businesses who have problems to be solved (problem owners) with innovators and to assist innovators to find collaborators and work together to resolve issues and develop ideas. This model of working has been proven to greatly assist the innovation process.

In summary the ideas management tool/platform will have the:

  • Ability to easily sign up participants to extend our reach of innovators
  • Ability for end users to place themselves easily into projects and problems
  • Ability to support the ideas generation process and transparency around how a decision is made
  • Ability to deliver the right ideas to the right experts
  • Ability to pitch/ create hackathons for our engagement strategy
  • Ability to be flexible so that we can make changes as we learn from our community
  • A platform with the security levels and stability to effectively manage co-creation of our innovative ecosystem
  • A secure and robust platform that can support ecosystem, external and open innovation within one concise platform
  • Facilitating ideas, insights, learnings and results sharing between users

Innovation Platform Coming Soon.

Communications

This includes our Newsletter, our theConversation blog and use of social media platforms to promote activity and encourage collaboration within the community.

theConversation Blog

Open Worcestershire

The Hive

The Hive has been 10 years in the making and came about due to the vision and commitment of two key partners: the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council. The name 'The Hive' represents the purposeful activity, and sense of community which it supports. The Hive is the first joint public and university library in Europe, where users have access to an outstanding facility with a vast variety of resources.

Services: The Library, Business Centre, Council Customer Services, Explore the Past, IT, Equipment & Printing, The Cafe at The Hive.

VISIT THE HIVE WEBSITE

University Incubator

Within the University of Worcester it provides a package of support which is tailored to the entrepreneur, your business sector and your stage of growth. The Incubation facility is managed by a dedicated member of staff is situated right in the heart of the city.

Supported businesses are typically students and graduates, mainly from Business, Sports and the Creative subjects. An offer has been extended to the startup community in Worcestershire requiring a space for their businesses.

If you are planning a business venture, launching a new startup, or growing a recently launched business the business Incubation facility could be just what you're looking for. It offers you business support, office space and meeting rooms on flexible terms.

VISIT THE UNIVERSITY INCUBATOR WEBSITE

Co-working Spaces

There are so many awesome places to co-work and connect in Worcestershire!

We believe that great things happen when people get together, which is why we'd like you to join us. We are developing a community of inspirational individuals and brilliant businesses to help the region grow and become recognised nationally as a hub of innovative ideas and projects.

So, whether you want to connect, collaborate, co-ordinate or just be inspired, WINN should be your first point of call.

It doesn't matter whether you want to be innovative with your products, services or processes, or if you just want to celebrate diversity and entrepreneurship. We can help you to showcase your ideas, learn from other innovators and be inspired.

DOWNLOAD THE OPEN WORCESTERSHIRE MAP

BetaDen

A tech accelerator with a difference

BetaDen is Worcestershire's first dedicated tech accelerator for entrepreneurs and scale up businesses.

Co-located with one of the UK's first 5G testbeds, we are situated at the forefront of testing and developing future technologies. The testbed provides a revolutionary platform for businesses to develop next-generation technology, such as the internet of things and industry 4.0.

Situated at Malvern Hills Science Park, BetaDen will offer entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale up businesses, a package worth over £50,000. BetaDen are able to offer a unique and comprehensive package, consisting of: free offce space, mentorship from our handpicked experts, access to Worcestershire's 5G testbed* and a proof on concept grant worth £15,000.

Becoming a part of BetaDen gives you maximum exposure well within this ecosystem and positions your business at the forefront of future technology.

Visit Betaden

The Kiln

CoWorking Community in Worcester

The Kiln wants to encourage those with tech and creative skills to work together to create enterprising new ideas and creations.

With the aim to build a physical collaboration and co-working space in the Heart of Worcester, The Kiln provides an affordable, collaborative, co-working space for Worcester's thriving creative & tech community.

The Kiln:

  • Offers regular and relevant events that draw in enthusiastic people and provide real benefits to local people
  • Provides a home for a growing body of startups and freelancers with flexible work and event space
  • Builds relationships with other regional and national hubs to put Worcestershire on the map

Visit The Kiln