New Innovate to Elevate programme launches with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils

  • Date

    Thu 6 Oct 22

Babergh and Mid Suffolk logo

Babergh & Mid Suffolk local businesses are set to receive an innovation boost as a new 12-month partnership between the University of Essex and the District Councils launches in the region.

Babergh & Mid Suffolk local businesses are set to receive an innovation boost as a new 12-month partnership between the University of Essex and the District Councils launches in the region.

The new Innovate to Elevate: Babergh & Mid Suffolk programme is inviting local businesses to apply to participate in fully funded collaborative projects with the University of Essex, which will help them take the next steps towards innovation and growth.

Jointly funded and supported by Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils and the University, the initiative is offering access to highly experienced academics and research staff from Essex to find solutions to local business challenges to help them thrive.

Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council leader and cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “Businesses across our districts have had a challenging few years and this is just one of the ways that we can help. We know there is no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit in our region but people don’t always have the resources or expertise to progress their ideas.

“This new programme is designed to help by giving businesses access to talented academics and research staff to help turn innovative ideas into reality.”

Cllr Harry Richardson, cabinet member for Economic Growth at Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “By giving business leaders in our district free access to academic expertise we can help them achieve their ambitions and take their firms to the next level. By supporting our local business community through partnerships such as this with the University of Essex, we can help our region become known for its innovation and creativity and ensure our districts continue to thrive.”

The University is offering access to a wide range of expertise from developing an entrepreneurial culture to supply chain management to technology adoption and automation. Local businesses and organisations are being asked to share their challenges using a simple application form, which will then be reviewed by the University to ensure the right knowledge is available to help.

Holly Leonard, Innovation Partnerships Manager at the University of Essex, comments: “Innovation is hugely important for any business to evolve and grow. Whilst many know their biggest challenges, finding a solution, the right expertise and funding to overcome them can sometimes feel out of reach. Our new Innovate to Elevate business accelerator programme will help make finding a solution more accessible than ever for businesses in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

“At Essex we have over 700 researchers undertaking world-leading research and years of experience helping businesses transform through innovation. We’re excited to be working in partnership with Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils to offer this fully funded opportunity to local businesses in the region.

“We see this as the start of a long and rewarding collaborative relationship with successful business applicants.”

Eligibility for the scheme is as flexible as possible to encourage participation across as many sectors and company sizes as possible. Businesses must be based locally in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk district and a UK-owned business to apply.

More information and guidance on the funding application process for the Innovate to Elevate programme is available on the University of Essex website.

To find out about all the business collaboration opportunities available with Essex visit or contact the us on