ERDF funding Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme - opportunity for SMEs in the north-east

Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside University are delighted to be able to offer up to 45 part-funded 3 year industrial PhD placements to eligible SMEs in the North East of England (ie Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Tees Valley). The project is funded by the Universities and European Regional Development Fund and looks to support local firms with their research and development needs, developing new products and services in key sectors and creating high quality jobs in the local economy.



The Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) will see Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities work directly with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region to develop new services and products for the market. Eligible SMEs will be supported by a dedicated PhD research student for three years, as well as access to senior academic researchers and university research facilities.


The project is targeted at supporting businesses in (or hoping to access) the priority sectors identified in the economic plans of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority.


These sectors are:


North East LEP: Passenger vehicle manufacturing; subsea and offshore technology; life sciences and healthcare; creative, digital, software and technology-based services; surface science; ageing; energy; systems satellite applications; energy networks; materials integration; water.


Tees Valley Combined Authority: Chemicals; health innovation; energy; advanced manufacturing; logistics; digital and creative; the Circular Economy.

The ultimate aim of the IIIP is to encourage a culture of innovation that benefits business, leading to greater export opportunities and increased graduate employment, particularly in science and engineering.


The scheme is now open to accept applications from SME's in the Tees Valley, Durham and North East areas. To request application forms please contact via the email address below: