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Fripp safeguards private suppliers of innovation vouchers in the North East

28 January 2010

Fripp Design and Research has been instrumental in the decision to continue to allow a wide range of suppliers of Innovation Vouchers for SME companies based in the North East region.

After a recent review of the scheme, the original intention had been to restrict the delivery of Innovation Vouchers to higher education institutes and other publicly funded research establishments in the North East area, including universities, colleges and innovation connectors such as Sunderland Software City, Digital City and Newcastle Science City. In effect, private suppliers would no longer be able to deliver innovation vouchers, which would mean that potentially some companies could miss out on crucial funding for innovation projects.
 

The Innovation Voucher scheme, introduced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and regional development agency One North East, is administered by North East England Service Provider (NEESPR) and offers companies up to £3,000 worth of research and development training. It is designed to help businesses, business owners, entrepreneurs and social enterprises in the North East region to purchase a knowledge provider's expertise to develop innovation and enhance business.

Following the intervention of Fripp Design and Research, an agreement has been reached to allow regional development agencies to pursue their own policies regarding the delivery of Innovation Vouchers. As a result, the original decision has now been changed and a wide range of providers, including private suppliers, will continue to be able to deliver the vouchers in the North East.

Steve Roberts (pictured), director at Fripp Design and Research explains: ‘Innovation is vital to the long term success of any business. I am delighted that SME companies in the North East region will still be able to access the Innovation Voucher scheme from private suppliers such as Fripp Design. This will enable more companies to access this type of funding and provide them with the choice to tap into an academic or private sector supplier’s wealth of expertise to help deliver a knowledge solution.’

Sheffield-based Fripp Design and Research is recognised as a Knowledge Partner, providing Innovation Vouchers for SME businesses based in the North East, as well as Yorkshire and Humber.
 
The company is also NEESPR approved to provide Innovation Vouchers on behalf of Business Link in the North East.


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