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The project is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)

Co-Innovate Testimonials

Peter Donnelly, Tapa Healthcare CEO “Co-Innovate is an excellent way of reviewing our business now, as well as focusing on innovation and future opportunities. The advice, hands-on mentoring, and real life business support provided ensures innovation, research and collaboration is embedded in our business to foster growth. I’d advise any businesses locally to apply and see how research and collaboration can boost their plans”.

Michael Knight, Managing Director of Donite Plastics “We’ve always been focused on technical innovation but taking part in the Co-Innovate programme really made us think about our management structure and innovating in other ways which we hadn’t considered before. As a result we have become much better organised in terms of innovation led by our management team and strategic operations and have vastly increased our production capacity. Now we are in a much improved position to go out there and pitch for new work which will make a big difference to our business’ long-term success. We’d definitely encourage other businesses which are experiencing challenges to find out more about the Co-Innovate programme and see how it could help them.”

Kim Harkness, Director of Fairy Bod Mother “The Co-Innovate workshop was a great starting point. It was a really motivational day and chatting to other delegates helped to spark other ideas. After the workshop, it was clear that I needed help to focus and work towards the place that I would love Fairy Bod Mother to be. The support I have received has been phenomenal. They guided me through a business review and innovation audit, which has really helped me to understand where I need external support to filter the many ideas I have. Their grounded, practical approach was perfect and her belief in both myself and has been invaluable. I have been introduced to experts who are helping me develop an innovation strategy, allowing me to pick out the best ideas to help the Fairy Bod Mother grow. The experts have been logical, understanding and reflective. Without the support, I would be six months behind where I want to be, not three years in front. Within two months of receiving Co-Innovate support, we launched a nutrition service which looks at educating clients about food choices and long-term change. We have also released our merchandise range and opened more destinations across the region. I have also just opened a new Fairy Bod Mother site in Carlisle. I am more focused and driven towards my future innovation goals”.

Sandra Patterson, Director Kids Bee Happy “We received a business health check, followed by a more in-depth innovation audit, both of which helped us to identify our strengths and weaknesses against our strategy. The expert support has provided us with consultants who are able to look in greater detail at aspects we don’t have the internal resources for. I am really looking forward to the next phases of the Co-Innovate programme, which is engaging in a collaborative innovation project with an academic institute in Ireland to expand my business internationally. This phase in the development of Kids Bee Happy would take me years to do on my own, and without Co-Innovate’s support, would have stalled until after we have some visibility of what Brexit will look like. Co-innovate is a very good programme that provides the expertise and support to fill all the innovation gaps that we had in our own management resources”

Kate Burns, Managing Director of Ocean Veg Ltd “I was really keen to gain a place on the Co-Innovate programme as I thought the mixture of support measures would be helpful, but it has more than reached our expectations. The mentors are real specialists, and introductions and advice have enabled us to be innovative and shape our model for scaling up and monetising our IP. We are very excited to move to the next stage and undertake a collaborative project with an academic partner in Ireland.”

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