Keele launches zero-cost digital transformation programme for local businesses
A new programme to help local businesses and entrepreneurs to harness the potential of data and digital technologies has been launched by Keele University.
Linked to the University’s new Digital Society Institute, the fully-funded programme* will enable SMEs and enterprising individuals to work with industry experts, academics and digital advisors to understand how data can be deployed in different parts of the business and how new and emerging technologies can improve productivity and increase competitiveness.
Available exclusively to those based in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, the programme features three support channels, each created to suit organisations at varying stages of their digital journey:
- Two-day Digital Accelerator sessions will provide SMEs with the tools, insights and confidence to navigate the opportunities presented by fast-changing technologies, through expert talks and workshops;
- Digital Advisor projects provide businesses with the opportunity to engage with talented Keele students and graduates, employed as Associates, to work on bespoke projects designed to build digital capacity and capabilities within the participating organisation;
- Digital Entrepreneur support, aimed at those looking to set up a new business which features data analytics or digitalisation, is delivered through support from Keele’s highly successful business incubation team.
The programme forms part of the business support package available through Innovation Centre 7 – a new, purpose-built facility which, once opened in Summer 2022, will also offer opportunities for organisations to partner with Keele and access specialist facilities such as digitally-enhanced data visualisation spaces and superfast computers.
Chris Chadwick, Project Manager for the programme, said: “This new programme is a great addition to the support available across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. By providing access to Keele’s expertise in data and digital technologies, we hope to help hundreds of local businesses and budding entrepreneurs to unlock their growth and embrace the potential of digital – at zero cost to participants.”
The Digital Accelerator will welcome its first cohort in July 2022, followed by cohorts in October 2022, January 2023 and April 2023. The Digital Entrepreneur support and Digital Advisor projects will be running on a continual basis until all places have been allocated.
Businesses and entrepreneurs are able to apply for places on these digital support programmes now by visiting keele.ac.uk/digitalbusiness or by contacting the Keele Gateway (01782 733001 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
*Innovation Centre 7 and its associated programmes are part-funded through a suite of funders including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (as part of the England 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme), the Research England Development Fund, and UK Government funding through the Getting Building Fund.
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