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The birth of Innovate UK EDGE

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Support

From today, Innovate UK EDGE brings together Innovate UK’s growth and scaling support for innovative businesses.

I’m proud to be leading the Business Growth team at Innovate UK, which has worked so hard and built on our strong advisory heritage and partnerships to launch the service.

Its identity captures the pace and envelope-pushing nature of our clients’ businesses something we seek to emulate with our bespoke specialist-led support.

Our growth and scaling support for innovative businesses

A key part of Innovate UK’s investment in the ambitious innovative companies that drive economic growth, we complement grants and loan funding for projects, with intensive support to help drive businesses forward. In short, we provide such companies with the edge to achieve their growth and scaling goals.

I hope you will forgive me for turning to a jazz analogy to explain how we work (the blog title, by the way, came about from my love of jazz, a play on Miles Davis’ Birth of Cool album): One of our specialists will work in concert with each client at the tempo at which they are accustomed.

They will help the leadership bring in or accentuate elements that build the business until it really takes off, like the best jazz pieces.

Our specialist-led support is bespoke and considers a business in the round, so any of these three areas may become the focus of our first engagement with clients, once we have understood their challenges and opportunities:

  • Exploit innovation: Protecting & harnessing IP, improving innovation management and accessing the innovation ecosystem globally through our expertise & networks.
  • Source funding and finance: Finding the best option and getting investment ready with our help, to propel growth.
  • Enter new markets: Connections & guidance to expand into vertical & international markets and achieve scale.

We are there for innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at any stage of the growth journey. More than anything we want our clients to achieve scale and the most outstanding scaling businesses that are disrupting their industries, capable of internationalisation and achieving over 50% growth p.a. are invited to join our Scaleup programme.

A look through our back catalogue

I’ve included a couple of our greatest hits from recent times below, where our support has had a notable impact for SMEs.

To explain the presence of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), until 2020 we operated under its name to provide the bulk of Innovate UK’s growth and scaling support services to innovative businesses.

EEN remains a key resource and an important partner for us and we will continue to help clients forge international business partnerships through it, among many other benefits.

Fast-growing Cauldron Science benefited from EEN support to scale up Gorilla Experiment Builder and meet global demand as COVID-19 restrictions prompted universities' rush for software licences for experimental psychologists wishing to take their behavioural research online.

We helped it develop a strategy for scaling up and creating new roles to cope with the sudden growth, in the process helping it achieve its ambitious yearly targets before August 2020 as turnover doubled.

Co-founder Jo Evershed said:

Growing quickly is great but it can be really nerve-racking. EEN helped me take a step back and have the space and time to think strategically. I have learned that you cannot grow your business if you don’t think strategically.

Cubi-Tech Pharmaceuticals opened the UK’s first hot-melt extrusion (HME) manufacturing plant, only the second in Europe.

The technology enables continuous production of 3-D printed tablets and formulations, cutting manufacturing time in half and achieving a 50% reduction in the cost of production.

CEO and founder Saumil Bhatt was really happy with the IP audit support:

Our EEN adviser introduced me to the IP audit just at the right time. We reviewed our existing three patents and then we filed for another three. They also help hone the strategy to transform the business into an HME pharmaceutical manufacturer. Turnover is now at £1.5 million. In five years I expect it to rise to £10 million or more.

To play us out…

Here is a video that explains more: It might not be accompanied by a jazz track, but it captures the energy that we will bring to all of our work for clients in 2021 and beyond:

Or if jazz is more your thing, here is some Miles Davis for you. Enjoy!


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  1. Comment by James Eames posted on

    Good morning, I have 2 pct,s and need help I am ready to go with one product and need a slight bit of help finishing of one other.
    1, LoftRobe
    2,B-Eames cutting guide

    Both have patent protection

  2. Comment by Karan Jain posted on

    Thank you for the post, informative and useful!

  3. Comment by Valerie posted on

    Very exciting news. Would love to join as a disruptor of the fashion industry and a sustainable community hub including an urban farm @cococollective_org insta.

    Totally get the jazz analogy :))
    Many thanks!

  4. Comment by Graham. A.B. Edwards posted on

    We are a company in the FARM TRACTOR design business & much is CHANGING.
    Our CEO ex -INSEAD & Manchester University is a very keen FOLLOWER OF the JAZZ scene & ,in particular,the Miles Davis period which has been RECENTLY conducted on CHANNEL 91.
    Our personal interest is in FARM tractor DESIGN for the FUTURE .....when there is NO more Ploughing..................& the World of Farming Moves in to the ZERO_TILLAGE farming system which FAO support as does ECAF in Europe , at Cordoba University .
    The FAO work is DIRECTED to CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE { CA } and the NO-TILL farming system which,in UK is FEATURED in the GROUNDSWELL-family on a farm in Baldock.