FIS360 helped to successfully deliver the Innovus Technology Commercialisation Programme, driving investment and job creation in Cumbria.
Innovus was launched in 2013 with a vision of facilitating the creation of high-tech jobs into the Cumbrian economy by supporting inspirational research and technology development. Innovus aimed to put innovators in front of industry challenges, providing access to commercialisation experts, large scale facilities, and match funding for development projects.
At FIS360, we were approached by the University of Manchester and National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to support the design of the Innovus process, governance documentation, and set the initiative targets. Drawing on considerable commercialisation expertise and experience in structuring commercialisation focused initiatives, we were able to make Innovus attractive to potential applicants, funders, and industry sectors who were facing major challenges. The contributions made to the funding applications resulted in securing several million pounds of grant and operational investment.
Drawing on our extensive network of industry contacts, a number of industry challenge-led events in the areas of oil and gas, electricity, renewables, robotics and sensors were facilitated.
In a three year period, our FIS360 team assessed over 150 funding applications with a view to confirming their fit with the Innovus funding criteria and, secondly, to advise where the applicant could strengthen the application (both commercially and technically) prior to it being presented to the Innovus investment committee.
We worked with the applicants who were successful in securing funding to monitor projects against agreed commercial and technical milestones, provide access to a network of professional and industrial contacts, and provide commercialisation mentoring and guidance to maximise the commercial potential of a technology.
Atlantic Geomatics, based in Penrith, Cumbria, were seeking support with business growth into a new market area, providing mapping services to burial authorities. Atlantic Geomatics were successful in securing £25k of proof-of-concept and £101k of prototype development funding from Innovus. As a result of the Innovus investment, they were able to effectively develop their burial ground mapping and record management technology, securing over 20 new contracts with customers and recruiting additional technical staff to deliver the work.
Ulverston-based Cumbria Crystal applied to Innovus for funding to support the development of their novel lead-free lining for full lead crystal. They were successful in their application and were awarded £47k towards their proposed project for development of their lining technology. During the project, Cumbria Crystal succeeded in producing a viable, independently verified glass composition for lining of their full lead crystal products, which has since been successfully brought to market.
While delivering the Innovus programme, we were directly involved in the investment of £1.8m through the Innovus Investment Technology Innovation Fund to enable a total of £3.2m of new R&D investment. Over 70 jobs were created or safeguarded as a direct result of the programme, which awarded 75 grants to micro and small to medium enterprises, providing tangible benefits to the Cumbrian economy.