University of Leicester receives £950,000 funding to kickstart collaborations with local enterprise

Posted by pt91 at Sep 04, 2013 02:10 PM |
New scheme will place 18 high quality graduates to undertake collaborative research and development with small to medium sized businesses

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 September 2013

The University of Leicester has received £950,000 collaborative funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to partner graduate research expertise with growing SMEs in the East Midlands region.

Innovation through the Research Support Accelerator (IRSA) aims to accelerate the development and exploitation of novel research via a unique collaboration between East Midlands small to medium-sized businesses, academic expertise at the University of Leicester and a high quality graduate who can take the opportunity of using the full year of research and development to enrol for a postgraduate degree.

The recent graduate will work on an applied research project with a defined business output as part of the research that could count towards an MPhil degree. The scheme will be offered by all University of Leicester departments that support 1 year MPhil research.

Teresa Smith, IRSA Project Manager, said: “Linking both business ‘what if…?’  with the academic knowledge and research expertise from the University of Leicester will provide unique and potentially unanticipated results from the initial challenge. This is a unique opportunity for 12 months of dedicated collaborative research, support and development particularly with small and medium companies in the east midlands who are interested in exploiting novel approaches in the Innovation agenda.”

Project Director Professor Monks said “The University of Leicester is looking to use its research expertise to help drive growth in regional jobs through this scheme. We welcome enquires from East Midland SMEs who could benefit from this R&D opportunity.”

As IRSA is part funded by the ERDF, the company must fulfill ERDF regulation. To be eligible, the company must be based in the East Midlands, have less than 250 employees and less than 46 million euro turn over.

The opportunity is open to all business sectors and can be supported across the full research expertise of the university from arts and humanities through to physical and biological sciences.

The project completion date is June 2015 therefore the first cohort will be placed around October 2013 with a second cohort early in 2014.

If you are interested please contact Teresa Smith for further details on phone: 0116 229 7841, e-mail: or at IRSA, Readson House, 96-98 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 7DF. More information is available at:


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Teresa Smith (

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