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SME Productivity & Innovation Centre

The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund to provide innovation support and advisory services to small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Lancashire and Liverpool City Region.

Supporting profitable growth through innovation

To date, 239 SMEs have accessed our fully-funded support to address their growth and scale-up challenges and opportunities, and to develop financially feasible solutions. The focus of the centre is product and service innovation, underpinned by stripping out inefficiencies in the business model and introducing new business development processes.

On average, SMEs who complete the Innovation Sprint growth programme and implement their action plan, on average, achieve a profitability increase of 28-45%.

Read the case studies to find out why, and get in touch to be part of the region’s stand-out business scale-up programme.

Success stories

View more SME stories

Meet the team

Our business development team have a depth of sector specific experience and will consider your individual business needs to ensure you receive the best support and opportunities.

Meet our experts

Innovation Sprint Programme

Even the most successful SMEs experience challenges concerning changing customer needs, inefficient processes, growth sales targets, strong competitors, unfocused messaging, complicated routes to market, inefficient use of resources, and disruptive changes in technology.

We offer a fully-funded Innovation Sprint Programme, with academic and business support to help you address your challenges and maximise your business opportunities.

The programme, described by one business as “Lancashire’s best-kept secret”, is making a real difference to the economic development of the region’s most ambitious SMEs from a wide range of sectors.

Programme delivery

  • 50 hours of scale-up strategy development, working on your business.
  • 6 intensive online workshops delivered over 4 weeks.
  • 1-2-1 facilitation by academics and our business experts.
  • Market research and rich data collection to aid decision-making.
  • World-class rapid innovation tools and frameworks.
  • Your key decision makers must participate (1-4 people).
  • Delivered through leading online collaboration software.
  • Follow on opportunities to collaborate with the University, students, and our SME network.


Fully-funded places on the Innovation Sprint Programme are limited. To be eligible to secure one of our fully-funded places, your business must:

  • Be a small and medium enterprise (SME, as defined by the European Commission).
  • Be registered or have its principal trading address in Lancashire or Liverpool City Region.

One of our Business Development Coordinators will confirm suitability during an initial meeting. This programme is for SMEs looking to develop and implement a scale-up strategy. That encompasses businesses of all different financial sizes, but all our SMEs share similar levels of ambition to stimulate growth, improve profitability, and create new highly skilled employment opportunities.

Get in touch

Contact us to find out how we can help you find a valuable work placement.

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