West London Business member, Brunel University London is offering 20 free places on its innovation support programme RIEm starting in January 2024. Business owners can register to attend three workshops on product research, design innovation and funding application, followed by six months mentoring by business and academic experts.
Participation in the 30-hour support provided by RIEm is valued at £8,000 and is fully funded by the university. It is open to businesses registered in the UK, with a minimum of two full-time staff, and expenditure approaching or over £100k in the last financial year.
The Brunel team have worked on numerous innovations including solutions for healthcare, electronics, engineering, AI, and robotics challenges. Mirjana Prokic, founder of hangAIR, a device to prevent and relieve physical and mental burnout and increase productivity, benefitted from the university’s expertise in industrial design and AI.
Not only did the RIEm team introduce Mirjana to a specialist manufacturer in the Midlands, but they also taught her funding bid-writing skills. Under the watchful eye of the university’s proficient in-house innovation experts, she was given homework to script a pitch for funding which could be adapted for different scenarios. Her application for an Innovate UK Fast Track grant was successful, providing £50,000 for the new venture for more R&D.
“It’s not enough to be in business. You need to create a network of supporters and I include here the academics from Brunel,” says Mirjana. “They open a whole new way of thinking about innovation, design, and technology which the rest of us could easily miss. They have the latest theories and research data from scientific trials which we take and test with our user panels.”
Due to the success of the programme, RIEm has been shortlisted for the West London Business Awards 2024 in the ‘Incubator/Coworking Space’ category.
Professor Geoff Rodgers, Pro Vice Chancellor for- Enterprise and Employment, says: “The RIEm programme is helping businesses to secure funding for innovation and to collaborate with our research experts. Brunel University views RIEm as a key component of its SME research and innovation engagement strategy.”
In total, the RIEm Programme has helped participants raise around £1 million in grant funding since 2021.
To apply for a place on the 2024 programme, please submit a 100-word abstract of your innovative solution and the potential support required from Brunel University London. Further information can be found at www.brunel.ac.uk/riem.