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Pathways to Innovation is a programme designed to help SMEs protect and commercialise new technologies, products, services and processes and access new markets.

Supporting the NE LEPs strategic economic plan, Pathways to Innovation is particularly aimed at businesses in the sectors of Healthcare & Life Sciences; Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive, Offshore & Energy Technologies; IT, Software, Creative & Digital.

The programme is funded through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered by RTC North in partnership with the Business & Intellectual Property Centre Newcastle. Pathways to Innovation gives companies access to one to one support from sector expert innovation advisors with expertise in market research and competitor analysis, IP commercialisation and product licencing.

Companies joining the programme will also get access to a rolling programme of one to many masterclasses and may also qualify for a grant to part fund work with external experts.

Pathways to Innovation is also designed to celebrate bright ideas and will do so through an awards programme based on the smart specialisation sectors.

Level 1:
Areas of one to one support
(a minimum of two days support from RTC innovation advisors)

  • Idea health checks and IP audits (infringement, freedom to operate)
  • Product, publication and patent searching (novelty)
  • Commercialisation assistance and legal advice (partnering, business model, licencing etc)
  • Facilitation of company introductions
  • Business development support (strategy)
  • Specialist market research (bespoke support using commercial data sources)
  • Copyright advice for training materials

Level 2:
Masterclasses and workshops
(half or full day sessions delivered on a range of topics throughout the year)

  • Innovation training
  • Monetizing IP
  • Business model development
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Accessing market intelligence

Level 3:
Funded Support for Innovation
Up to 35 % Grant Funding for work with external specialists projects between £3,000 and £6,000

Through Pathways to Innovation RTC North can provide support with the development and commercialisation of innovative ideas.

Eligible companies can access subsidised services for projects which lead to the development of new technologies, products, processes and services. From strategic planning, market strategy and helping companies to access proof of concept and other forms of funding and procurement advice.

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For further information please contact us.