24 Mar 2017

KEI is the key

James Purdy
Finance Manager

About our partnership

Following on from our successful grants and R&D Tax Credits claims, we frequently get asked about alternative funding options by our clients.

We wanted to look at alternative funding options for our clients, in light of forthcoming changes to the grant funding landscape. We decided to use the University of Derby’s expertise to explore whether private investment presented a revenue opportunity for TBAT and if so, what should be offered and how.

This has been run through a Knowledge Exchange for Innovation (KEI) project – a scheme that is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). KEIs are a partnership between a university and an SME, for between 6 and 18 months, which focus on improving the company’s productivity and competitiveness through an innovation. ERDF provides 30% of the total cost. A suitably qualified graduate is chosen to lead the KEI and an academic with relevant expertise supports them.

What we think
This is a six-month project that is ongoing, but Matt Symonds, Managing Director at TBAT, has already seen the value: “We’ve been really impressed with the graduate (Richard), the University and the scheme. Only two months in, we already have some great insight into the current private investment landscape and pointers as to a potential business model for us to enter this market with. Our only regret is that we can’t keep hold of Richard after the KEI as he already has a full-time position to go to (given his calibre, it isn’t surprising!). The academics at the University have been really supportive. The scheme is easy to access and pain free and is a great way of getting expertise into our business.”

Inspired by our story? Contact the University of Derby to find out how they can help your company – 0800 678 3311 or businessservices@derby.ac.uk

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