The Innovation SuperNetwork is a “network of networks”, funded by the North East LEP, Innovate UK, regional partner organisations and the European Regional Development Fund, bringing together over 50 partners and 5000+ businesses to increase innovation, collaboration and business growth in the North East.
The Innovation SuperNetwork delivers a major part of the North East LEP’s innovation strategy to ultimately create more and better jobs.
By bringing together the region’s innovation assets and working cross sectorally and across functions, the SuperNetwork:
- increases connectivity across the North East to promote the connections and information flows that drive innovaton activity
- provides a critical mass that enables us to do more together, such as gathering 700+ delegates to the region’s annual innovation conference, VentureFest North East, and attracting out-of-region investors to the North East
- promotes the sharing of best practice in innnovation and of innovation challenges/opportunities
- provides a mechanism in the region to connect businesses to new markets, finance and expertise (public and private sector).
- The SuperNetwork deliver four core benefits in the region:
- Network support: With an innovation ecosystem that brings together 50 partners and more than 5,000 businesses, we are able – through our partners, our events and our active communication channels – to facilitate connections to potential customers, collaborators and innovation expertise and business support.
- Access to finance support: Our FinanceCamp events (twice a year) connects businesses to access the funding solutions they need to grow. It is open to enterprise of all sizes and from all sectors, and is free to attend. Prior to the event, businesses seeking funding can access training workshops that prepare them to meet with lenders and investors, including an understanding of funding options and pitch training. On the day, businesses are matched to funders for one-to-one appointments. In addition, they benefit from inspirational keynote speakers and networking opportunities.
- Innovation challenge support: Through our innovation challenge programme, the SuperNetwork helps businesses address their innovation challenges by identifying innovative technologies, talent and services of businesses in the North East of England. In this way, larger businesses with challenges solve problems quickly, easily and cost-effectively, whilst smaller companies get the chance to work in a new market or win a new contract. We have an open innovation portal that features public and private sector open innovation challenges and funding opportunities, and we use our communications to broadcast these to the network.
- Innovation knowledge sharing: Through our events including VentureFest North East, the region’s annual innovation conference, businesses benefit from a programme that includes inspirational keynotes and practical workshops sharing the innovation tools and best practice.