Supporting businesses through the pandemic

Keele University is committed to supporting all areas of the local community in the global fight against COVID-19.

This support ranges from the significant number of Keele medical and nursing students, who have chosen to serve on the front-line earlier than initially planned, in order to directly help with the national crisis, through to the School of Pharmacy responding to a request from the local NHS Trust to manufacture World Health Organisation-approved hand sanitiser in scaled-up quantities.

Other key interventions include academics conducting research into the infection, students providing support to vulnerable and ‘shielded’ groups, and business partners working in collaboration to produce vaccines and ventilators.  You can see an overview of the University's response on the University’s coronavirus pages.

As well as these significant activities, the University is also continuing to support the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire business community through a number of new initiatives running alongside the existing Business Gateway programmes.  Some of these opportunities are summarised below. 

Keele Talks Business webinars

A new online webinar series – Keele Talks Business – has been established to address the local business community’s questions and concerns regarding ongoing pandemic.  Topics covered so far include tax, funding, marketing, working from home and a regional view of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

For more information on the series, including upcoming Keele Talks Business sessions and recordings of previous sessions, please visit the Business Gateway Webinars webpage.

Science and Innovation Park

The Keele University Science and Innovation Park is offering up to 6,500 sqft of office space, with individual access, to organisations that are supporting the NHS and its partners in response to COVID-19.  Interested parties can submit initial enquiries by emailing kusip@keele.ac.uk.

Business Gateway

Although Business Gateway team members are now working from their respective homes, they are still working hard to support businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire - facilitating access to the University's world-class research, knowledge and talent, backed by substantial funding opportunities.

Given that many businesses are viewing the current situation as an opportunity to review current ways of working, the business support programmes available at Keele University, which have been part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund, may be an ideal starting point for those looking to upskill or to add elements of innovation into their business practices.

Those who are already enrolled on the University’s Research and Innovation Support programme are working virtually with the project team, including talented Keele students employed as dedicated Research and Innovation Associates, to develop new products, processes and services that will enhance their business both now and in the future.

Similarly, the University’s Innovation Leadership and Smart Innovation Hub bootcamp programmes are reviewing ways of ensuring that local entrepreneurs and business leaders can continue to benefit from the advice of a variety of experts about vital aspects of growing a business.

For those businesses that are operating in or around healthcare markets and their associated supply chains, the Business Bridge programme is able to help deliver a competitive advantage through the provision of technical advice, collaborative working and product validation, redeemable through Innovation Vouchers worth up to £5,000.

And, despite the current situation, sustainability remains one of the University’s key priorities, with the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project still able to support local businesses with research projects linked to smart, renewable and low carbon energy technologies.

For a confidential discussion, and to find out how your business can benefit from a Keele University collaboration, please contact the Business Gateway on 01782 733001, email business.gateway@keele.ac.uk or visit keele.ac.uk/business.


ERDF and UK Government logos The following support programmes available within the Business Gateway are receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020:

  • Keele University Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref: 32R17P01691);
  • Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (Ref: 32R16P00706);
  • Business Bridge (Ref: 32R18P02530).

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. 

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.