It’s the most wonderful time of year and there’s no better time than now for us to look back on our 3-year project with festive cheer. This ‘Christmas Roundup’ is all about celebrating what we’ve achieved thus far and these figures will increase up until March 2020 when the project reaches it’s official end date.
Now, let us end 2019 with a cracker and our ATI highlights…
Driving Innovation in Cornwall
Since the ATI project first launched (back in 2017), we have engaged 565 businesses throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Of those, we have worked intensively with 145 individual businesses, on a wide variety of innovation projects.
ATI’s full suite of innovation support is comprised of one-to-one business innovation advice, specialist research, academic expertise, consultancy and grant funding. To date, the ATI team has provided businesses with an astounding 3,629 hours of support and we expect this figure to reach 4,000 by the end of the project. It is all these hours that have resulted in the commercialisation of many new products, services and processes that aim to increase the productivity of Cornish businesses and drives economic growth throughout the county.
John Hutchings, ATI’s Innovation Fund Manager, has been a particularly busy elf. By the end of 2019, John will have awarded 48 innovation grants to the total value of £500,000, thereby meeting our projected target as we near the end of the three-year project (and ATI’s first round of funding).
The Innovation Grant Fund has proudly supported a broad and diverse array of innovation projects, helping to minimise the associated financial risks for Cornish businesses that want to pursue innovation within a variety of industries and sectors.
These grants have contributed towards the costs of all sorts of things, including prototyping, patent and trademarking costs, proof of market as well as process innovation (including provision of new machinery and technology), ultimately leading to businesses being able to bring new products and services to market, as well as encouraging businesses to innovate their existing processes.
Connecting Innovative Businesses to Expertise & Support
Over the total project duration, 1,169 businesses have registered to attend one of ATI’s 56 events. In 2019 alone, we ran a grand total of 23 events. This consisted of small workshops and large-scale events, including masterclasses, networking clubs, innovation days and the inaugural Innovation for Business Conference. All our events activity resulted in increased awareness for the ATI project, with 567 individuals registering for our 2019 offering. This is up by 40% on last year’s figures (2018), a significant achievement considering we ran slightly fewer events throughout 2019.
Innovation for Business 2019
The Innovation for Business Conference, also known as IFB19, was by far the most popular and successful event of the year (and perhaps in ATI history). In fact, we still have clients tweeting us about some of the expert speakers that we brought into the county. It created a fantastic buzz and provided innovation inspiration for those businesses that attended. IFB19 was a major contributor to this year’s event success, accounting for 20% of all event attendees.
Cornwall Innovation Club
2019 saw the Cornwall Innovation Club relaunch as a members club, which has significantly boosted the uptake of these knowledge sharing and networking breakfasts. We now have 150 business members registered and this number grows after each event. The Cornwall Innovation Club accounted for 35% of all event attendance in 2019, a 46% increase on the year previous. What’s more, there’s one more club yet to take place in Bude (16th January) with the theme of ‘What the future looks like’. There’s still time to register and join the club, simply visit our website to find out more.
8 Pop-ups Launched
The Bude Pop-up Innovation Centre opened in November, bringing our total number to 8! Taking the Cornwall Innovation Centre offering out to those harder to reach areas of Cornwall has resulted in vibrant and collaborative business communities being connected. The pop-ups become somewhat of a ‘hub’ and create the opportunity for businesses within the town to meet one another, as well as introduce them to our valuable network of business support.
We’re pleased to say since the Pop-up opened in Bude, we have had a healthy number of hotdeskers, meeting room bookings and workshops taking place here. Mark James of EX23Solutions says the facilities are “really convenient and all I need to work effectively. By hotdesking at the ATI Pop-up it enables home to become home again.”
So far in Bude, the ATI Pop-up has hosted ‘Finance Clinics’ with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as well as drop-in sessions with Cornwall Marine Network and there’s much more to come.
That concludes our 2019 Christmas Roundup. Season’s Greetings to one and all, may your New Year be prosperous!