Edge Hill University’s Small and Medium Enterprise Productivity & Innovation Centre (SME PIC) has won a prestigious Educate North Award.

The Centre was rewarded for its work on helping local businesses scale-up with a win in the ‘business collaboration and partnerships award – university sector’ category.

Professor Simon Bolton, Director of SME PIC, said:

“This win is not only testament to the hard work of the SME PIC team but also recognition of the impact the programme has had on helping ambitious SMEs from across the region to grow through job creation and product and service innovation.

“We look forward to continuing to support SMEs across Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region.”

SME PIC runs a number of hugely successful initiative to support local businesses having helped 322 SMEs in the last 12 months.

Launched in 2017 as a new strategic gateway and ‘Centre of Excellence’ to scale-up potential SMEs, the Centre enhances knowledge, skills and resources to boost products and services, and assists with business model innovation. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Innovation Sprint Programme (IS) is the key initiative, delivered by Edge Hill’s business experts, and has helped over 160 SMEs to develop a growth strategy to improve their processes, maximise the use of business technologies and re-define internal structures, roles, and responsibilities. On average, those SMEs have experienced growth of 29 per cent, with more than 60 new products launched and over 230 new jobs created to date.

SME PIC has also supported Edge Hill’s business graduates who have secured highly skilled jobs as a result of the hands-on experience they have gained by supporting the Centre’s initiatives and research.

Edge Hill’s Tackling the Blues mental health programme for children and young people was also shortlisted in the ‘community engagement – university sector’ and ‘mental health and wellbeing’ categories.

The Educate North Awards celebrate best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North; Edge Hill University won the Educate North University of the Year Award 2021/22.

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