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Creating firm foundations for local businesses

Local SME businesses across Cheshire and Warrington looking to find ways of introducing innovation to their organisations and to learn how to commercialise new products, processes and services are being invited to attend a two-day foundation workshop.

Run by the University of Chester’s I2C (Innovation to Commercialisation) project, the workshop takes place on Tuesday  and Wednesday (December 4 and 5) at Thornton Science Park.

Part ERDF-funded and fully funded for I2C beneficiaries, the innovation workshop is designed to help any eligible SMEs, which are based or registered in this region, to develop what they need to enable them to bring a new project to market. 

The two-day skills-based event will introduce attendees to concepts and state-of-the-art equipment like computer aided design tools, advanced manufacturing and rapid prototyping concepts.

The aim of the workshop is to provide businesses with a set of organisational tools, skills and knowledge to enable them to introduce a systematic process for innovation development and process management.  They can also can benefit from further support through a series of fully-funded masterclasses, which are also run at Thornton Science Park.

Commenting on a foundation workshop he attended earlier this year, Joe Handsaker CEO and founder of Elements Technology Platforms Ltd, said: “Before the workshop there was a lack of clear focus or direction in the business …….. but as a result of the workshop, I was able to identify a clear roadmap, which in turn gave me the structure to bring on board a complementary CTO and to re-analyse the market, and therefore put forward a much stronger market and competitor analysis.

"Since the workshop, we have been able to develop a working demonstrator in-house. This has allowed us to create large amounts of interest in the product and the company, and as a result we are currently in the late stages of securing investment.”

Paul Vernon, CEO at Thornton Science Park and sponsor of the 12C project, says: “The I2C project was set up to help local businesses create, develop and commercialise all kinds of innovation, from new products and processes to services. We have now successfully run several of these foundation workshops, which represent the first step for a business embarking on this exciting commercialisation journey.”

The December workshop is just the latest in a series of two-day workshops and masterclasses provided by the 12C project to promote design and innovation across the Cheshire and Warrington region. The workshops and masterclasses are open to all businesses registered to the fully-funded 12C project. 

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