West Yorkshire Innovation Support Programme

The scheme is a three year programme to provide innovation support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their business operations, products, processes and services through innovation voucher scheme, targeted strategic grants, Mayor’s Innovation Prize competition and West Yorkshire Innovation Festival.

The service has been developed in partnership with the West Yorkshire Innovation Network to complement existing innovation and business support in the region. The approach builds on learning from previous regional innovation support programmes, including Access Innovation and Connecting Innovation.

Innovation through creating, improving or utilising new products, processes, or services is well evidenced as being central to improving productivity, economic growth and prosperity. In West Yorkshire however, we have low levels of innovation activity evidenced by a) low levels of business R&D investment, b) low levels of engagement between SMEs and Higher Education institutions to drive knowledge transfer and c) low levels of applications to UK innovation funding competitions and regional grant funds.

There is a wealth of innovation support already available in the region. However, businesses (particularly SMEs)  lack the time available to navigate innovation support and understand what is available to them and how to access it. This programme is designed to help those businesses
understand and take full advantage of the support available. The programme also provides some targeted innovation funding for those areas where the challenge is more acute. This includes SME innovation vouchers and addressing wider issues such as the net zero and Mayoral Innovation Prize. As set out previously, the challenge in West Yorkshire is increasing the appetite for
innovation by industry and therefore increasing engagement levels with innovation support.

Project overview

Project Lead West Yorkshire Combined Authority
District/ Area West Yorkshire
Business case summary Read the full document

Gainshare - £5.550m
SME match - £1.384m

Project Status Activity 6: Delivery
Start and end dates April 2023- March 2026
Delivery partners None
Other funders None
Get in touch ConnectingInnovation@the-lep.com