Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL)

Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership is a prestigious innovation leadership programme addressing distinctive organisational and leadership challenges for innovation-led, knowledge-intensive businesses across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.‌

‌This programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.

Through a fully-funded Innovation Leadership programme, business leaders and entrepreneurs can benefit from:

  • Six two-day sessions of facilitated group learning, led by academics and expert business leaders
  • A dedicated Entrepreneur in Residence and a Keele academic to provide coaching, advice and guidance, as well as academic expertise on a one-to-one basis
  • A unique blend of action learning, including one-to-one sessions, peer review, activity-based learning, creative challenge-based activity and self-directed learning
  • Development, implementation and a review of a practical, innovation-focussed action plan for your business
  • Access to the latest thinking around innovation and social value, specific masterclasses and a unique innovation eco-system.


‌Information Leaflet

‌Please click here or the image opposite to download a copy of our latest leaflet to find out more about the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership.



The programme is open to the leaders of small to medium-sized businesses, early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial social innovators.  These individuals must be looking to develop products and services, achieve scalable routes to market and achieve strategic business growth.  Applicants must be an owner, director or employee of a registered business in the Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire area.


Benefits to your business

  • Dedicated time to focus on innovation and R&D as a strategic driver for your business growth
  • Apply world-leading research and knowledge on innovation leadership in order to produce a positive impact on your business’s bottom line
  • Access to the wide scientific and technological infrastructure of Keele University
  • Be part of a unique innovation network
  • Learn from fellow hand-picked entrepreneurs and social innovators



The programme is fully funded – the only cost is your time.


When does it run?

Cohort 1 (May-October 2017)

  • FULL


Cohort 2 (November 2017 - April 2018):

  • FULL

Cohort 3:

  • 17-18 May 2018
  • 14-15 June 2018
  • 19-20 July 2018
  • 16-17 August 2018
  • 13-14 September 2018
  • 11-12 October 2018

How to apply

For more information on the opportunities available, please contact one of the Business Gateway team:


Useful documents