Over three years, the Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange (BRITE) programme will bring £10.5m worth of support to more than a hundred Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to scale, accessing business growth expertise and world-class product development facilities.
BRITE will be located at the brand new Plus X Brighton innovation hub, located next to the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, designed to help business and communities collaborate, innovate and grow. Applications are now open for businesses interested in developing innovative products or services. SMEs will need to be able to demonstrate ambitious growth plans and meet eligibility criteria. Successful applicants will start their BRITE journey with an in-depth consultation to assess their business needs. Led by specialist innovation teams from the University of Brighton and Plus X, this diagnostic process will result in a tailored programme of support for each SME ranging from access to specialist innovation advice and expertise, product research and development services, personalised one-to-one coaching with business mentors, peer-to-peer interaction and learning as well as partnership opportunities with the University of Brighton and major corporates. The BRITE programme will provide members with access to the University of Brighton’s impact-focused innovation tools and programmes, developed by the University’s Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM). Dr George Tsekouras, the Director of CENTRIM said: “The BRITE project is a unique opportunity to use our research capability and knowledge to make an impact in our region, helping SMEs to grow and develop an international competitive edge. The CENTRIM team will use methodologies and tools specially designed to facilitate innovation-led growth among SMEs, including a series of Masterclasses and interactive workshops on the latest trends in innovation management and entrepreneurship.”
BRITE members will have access to a range of research and development facilities, including high spec machinery, equipment and expertise, with specialist design teams to assist with prototype build and new product development. Facilities include precision CNC milling machines, laser cutters, UX test suites, electronics laboratory, image, video and podcast studios.
Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “I am incredibly proud that the University of Brighton’s leading innovative research expertise will be used to help SMEs across the region recover and grow. In these unprecedented times, our community is more important than ever and we are delighted to play our part in enabling business innovation and agility across the Coast to Capital area. This is, I’m sure, the start of a fantastic strategic partnership with our new neighbours at Plus X Brighton.”
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “We are delighted to have supported the Plus X project with a £7.7 million Local Growth Fund contribution. This is a critical time for SMEs across the area and the BRITE programme will help businesses get back on their feet. Working with partners such as Plus X and the University of Brighton, our goal is to create spaces in which cutting-edge businesses can thrive. I look forward to hearing success stories from businesses taking part in the programme in the future.”