The Black Country was built on innovation and continues to lead the way. There is plenty of support available to help individuals develop new ideas or help existing businesses improve processes or develop new products.

Innovative Product Support Service

The Innovative Product Support Service (IPSS) programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports businesses through the early stages of developing a new product or process.

Businesses will initially receive a two-day review of their proposed product/technology. The results of the review will be used to select businesses with the most viable propositions to undertake a second phase of the programme that offers a further four days of funded support.

Speed up your development process

Innovation Vouchers

Eligible small to medium-sized enterprises across the region can apply for an Innovation Voucher, which is worth £2,500 and offers access to external expertise with knowledge base organisations (research institutes) to support an innovation project

You can also access free support in the form of workshops designed to help business become more competitive and manage growth effectively.

Apply now

Smart Concept Fund

The Smart Concept Fund offers a ‘Proof of Concept’ grant, designed to support the commercialisation of new technologies. It can award successful applicants a grant of up to £30k at an intervention rate of up to 60% to help fund an approved product development project, subject to eligibility conditions.

Check out what’s possible

Innovation Networks

Innovation Networks provides support through grants to SMEs who are collaborating with at least 2 other SMEs on the development of an innovative product, process or service.

The grants can cover external development costs, including parts, materials, prototype development, testing, IPR, marketing, machinery tooling etc., or skills that the business is lacking.

Find out more

Manufacturing Growth Programme

Manufacturing SMEs looking for support to improve processes can access one-to-one support through the Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is committed to helping you improve what you do, by identifying, understanding and removing barriers to growth.

Ready to take your manufacturing to the next level?

Get started

black country growth hub innovation

Environmental Technologies and Resource Efficiency Support Service (EnTRESS)

EnTRESS supports Black Country SMEs on the adoption of environmental technologies and resource efficiency processes. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund to promote sustainable economic growth.

EnTRESS is part of the University of Wolverhampton's Faculty of Science and Engineering.

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Built Environment Climate change Innovations (BECCI)

The BECCI Project benefits Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Black Country and Marches LEP areas of the West Midlands, by providing free support in the development of products and services that reduce carbon usage.

This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund till December 2018 to promote sustainable economic growth.

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black country growth hub innovation

Product Innovation Accelerator

Are you an ambitious manufacturing SME, based in Coventry & Warwickshire and the Black Country, and seeking to participate more actively in research and development?

Would you like to develop, test and demonstrate new products based on access to leading edge technology and applications?

Are you sitting on great ideas requiring innovation support to bring them to commercial reality?

If yes, to any of these, then the WMG Product Innovation Accelerator project could help you.

Get started

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Focus Digital

This innovation project will support the acceleration to market and/or internal implementation of new products, services and process within the digital media/ICT domain by SMEs across the West Midlands region.

It will provide support to SMEs through a combination of workshops, development support, usability studies and grants.

The project will help160 enterprises to engage and invest in innovation after provision of technical expertise and knowledge, to allow SMEs to take the next step in product development.

Get started


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