The Art of Collaboration A £14m business R&D programme is now open to businesses across the UK North West. Delivered by a consortium of universities; Lancaster, Central Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and Manchester Met, Eco-I NW follows 8 years of award winning and successful collaborative R&D activities. Through Eco-I NW we seek to support low carbon business innovations across the region, including the areas of Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire & Warrington and Greater Manchester.
This is the first project of its kind that will open up such a huge regional resource to our businesses. In a time of crisis, we hope to facilitate business recovery, resilience, innovation and growth. Business projects will be delivered through a variety of short term interventions and long term technical assistance. Eco-I NW is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Please get in touch to discuss your project at, or call us on 07970 744235 / 07773 098578.

What is on offer?

Capital grants for Low Carbon Demonstrator projects
Scaling up and demonstrating your innovation is a critical step in the commercialisation of new products. Capital grants are available to Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) for projects of up to £10k and up to £25k to support the development and installation of pilots, prototypes and demonstrators of emerging technologies. Enterprises need to match fund these projects.

Intensive thirty-three month projects to deliver leading edge R&D at PhD level
Each project is delivered by a dedicated graduate researcher recruited specifically to undertake your project full time, supported by our academics, global contacts and resources. This provides more than 4000 hours of dedicated R&D with the researcher working at PhD level. In effect the university becomes your dedicated R&D facility. A contribution towards PhD tuition fees is required.

One-year research projects with a dedicated full time researcher at Masters level
Each research project is undertaken by a dedicated full time researcher working on your project at Masters level, supported by our academics, global contacts and resources. A company contribution towards the researcher’s tuition fees and is required.

Short research projects delivered by university staff
Typically these are short projects of a week to a month or so requiring the hands on technical support from a post-doctoral researcher with specialist knowledge and equipment. This provides direct research and development on your product or process, giving independent results to substantiate or improve product claims.

Access student talent for project delivery
Fully funded, these are in-curricular research projects of between 6 and 12 months in duration delivered by a student in an appropriate discipline. These are available from across university departments and faculties, benefitting from academic input and guidance.

Short duration internships
Up to 140 hours of support is available delivered by an appropriate student or researcher, funded to work on your project.

Low Carbon Workshops and Innovation Forum
Peer to peer business workshops for cohorts of businesses. From workshops focussed on a technology to forums focussed on location, these workshops run over a period of 3-4 months and are designed for business directors and technical managers needing to address the acceleration, management and success of innovations.

Low Carbon Innovation Insights
Presentation and discussion events designed to raise awareness of technical advances and business challenges which may accelerate productivity and innovation in thematic areas.  These events in person and virtually, allow businesses to gain an understanding of particular technologies and challenges faced by large organisations which are seeking solutions.

Clean Growth Platform
Interaction, learning and sharing through our Clean Growth Platform, allowing the creation of business networks and dissemination of innovative research findings and innovations.

Why work with us?

Potential to double your return on R&D
When a business works with universities the return on R&D more than doubles according to UK Government statistics. (Dowling Review 2015)

Award winning track record
We have won national awards for our work with business and innovation support.

Benefit from extensive R&D capabilities through university facilities, and equipment.
You will access high value research facilities and resources to work on your project.

Access the knowledge and skills demonstrated to be world leading in a UK Science Innovation Audit.
Gain access to the knowledge, skills and people who can make a difference to your business.

Build a network of like-minded enterprises, collaborators and global contacts.


This programme of support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the university partners. It is available to ERDF eligible enterprises across the North West. There is a small cost associated with projects of duration of a year or more to cover items which fall outside of the support available under ERDF. Short-term opportunities are usually available without any charge to the business.  Capital grants for demonstrator projects need to be match funded by the SME.The Eco-I North West project is providing innovation consultancy and advisory aid in line with the De Minimis Exemption (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, OJ L 352/1) and Innovation R&D aid in line with the General Block Exemption Regulation (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014, OJ L 187/1).

Contact us for more details

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