Derby Innovation Accelerator

The University of Derby alongside the East Midlands Chamber, Marketing Derby and the Council's Employment and Skills team will benefit from a share of £2.3m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which is in partnership with Derbyshire City Council and the Chamber. The combined programmes aim to create 600 jobs and bring significant investment to the city over the next two years.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund was launched in April 2022 to replace EU funding. The fund aims to boost communities, support local businesses and improve skills as a key part of the Government's "levelling up" agenda. 

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus.

Each part of the UK is receiving an allocation from this fund to cover three years until the end of the 2024-25 financial year. Following Government approval of its Investment Plan, Derby City Council was awarded a total of £6.1m from the core fund. Each authority is encouraged to use the money to meet unique needs of their community and location. 

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Derby Innovation Accelerator will provide:


The Derby Innovation Accelerator will provide innovation support to:

(* high growth defined as evidence of, or ambition to grow, by at least 20% staff and/or turnover)


Target sectors

  1. Rail and the sub-sectors of planning design and project delivery, rail infrastructure and equipment, rolling stock, asset management, safety and security, operations, ticketing
  2. Nuclear across activities including new build, nuclear infrastructure, waste management and decommissioning
  3. Aerospace across activities including design, manufacture, maintenance, modelling, simulation, materials, acoustics, guidance and control systems
  4. Life sciences and the sub sectors of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, biomedical technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing and environmental science
  5. Creative industries sub-sectors 


We will deliver a series of workshops that highlight Innovate UK funding and how this can support your business growth through innovation. Please use the form below to express your interest. 

We will work with you to identify the challenges you are facing as a business and in response will develop workshops to effectively address those challenges. Please register your interest using the form below. 

Introduction to carbon literacy for businesses

Date: 9 November 2023

Location: Lonsdale House

Time: 08:45 - 11:00

Are you ready to empower your business with the knowledge and tools to navigate the path towards net zero?

Join us for our first workshop series designed to introduce your SME to the world of carbon literacy and its profound implications for your operations.

In this workshop, we will demystify carbon emissions and their direct link to climate change, offering your business a clear understanding of its carbon footprint.  Our expert facilitators will guide you through practical scenarios relevant to SMEs, showcasing how everyday decisions can influence your company's environmental impact.

By the end of this session, your team will possess a foundational grasp of carbon literacy tailored to the business context.  You'll uncover opportunities to enhance energy efficiency, reduce waste and integrate sustainable practices into your operations - all of which can lead to cost savings and enhanced corporate responsibility.  More than that, you will discover how the University of Derby can support you in this transition and connect with like-minded people. 

Join us as we embark on a journey to empower your business to make informed eco-conscious choices.  Equip your SME with the tools it needs to play a vital role in mitigating climate change, enhancing its reputation and contributing to a greener future for both your company and the planet. 

Delivered by Dr Bruno Gallotta

Further decarbonisation workshops will be delivered with more information and dates to come, covering the following themes:

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy adoption
  • Greening your Supply Chain
  • From Waste to Value Streams - waste reductions and circular economy
  • Low Emission Transport

Please complete the form below to register your interest.

Innovation Vouchers and Capital Grants

Innovation Vouchers 

Innovation vouchers will provide access to facilities and expertise to deliver Collaborative Research and Development projects with the University of Derby.  Vouchers can be used to:

Where required, applicants can apply for a capital grant to complement their innovation voucher.  This will be treated as a separate grant.

Capital Grants

We will offer capital grants for Research & Development (including decarbonisation).

Subject to public subsidy control rules, projects could be awarded between £6,000 - £20,000 capital grants.  There is a maximum 40% intervention rate with a minimum spend of £15,000.

Applicants must be able to provide match funding for the grant and this must be in place before grant agreements can be issued.  This will need to come from private sector sources such as bank loans, asset finance, company funds, directors loans and/or from other public funding sources (where permitted). 

Access to Angel and Investor Networks

Facilitating companies who may need equity investment to understand what 'equity investment' actually means, how it differs from debt and other forms of business growth investment; decipher the language and terminology; and where to fund support and information.

Additionally, we will be developing an Angel Network and supporting potential investors to understand that there are good opportunities in Derby City Centre that offer excellent value.

There will be three pitching events where fully supported and coached companies will have the opportunity to pitch, live, to a group of potential investors. 


Register your interest

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