12 Jul 2021

RISE launches! Read our press release



Brighton and Sussex universities' join forces to support businesses in the region.

A new business innovation project launches this week to help West Sussex enterprises innovate using expertise from the universities of Brighton and Sussex.

The two-year project, Research, Innovation in Sussex Excellence (RISE), has been awarded funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), West Sussex County Council, and the seven West Sussex district and borough councils, to stimulate innovation-led growth, by providing targeted and intensive support for businesses.

Hot-air balloon rising up into the sky

“RISE is about increasing business investment in research and innovation regionally through the development of partnerships and synergies between SMEs and the region’s two main research universities, Brighton and Sussex.”

Lorraine Bell, Head of RISE

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be given access to expertise to support their business innovation. Support will be given in the form of innovation diagnostics, workshops and a bespoke development programme to help companies take their business in new directions.

Eligible businesses will work with business Innovation Advisors to identify bespoke business needs and opportunities – identifying and removing barriers to innovation.

RISE is fully subsidised, providing completely free access to innovation advisors and research expertise, that can help businesses with their research and development work. This approach opens the door for more collaboration between universities and small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. The project could widen access to cutting edge technologies, skills and approaches, helping businesses to progress and grow.

“This is a tremendously exciting initiative. It will create a support system to help small and medium-sized enterprises in West Sussex access expertise from the universities so they can innovate and grow.

A sustainable and prosperous economy is a key part of our Council Plan for 2021 to 2025 and this project dovetails perfectly with our aim of supporting businesses to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and plan for future growth.”

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council

RISE is being led by the University of Brighton, in partnership with the University of Sussex (delivery partner) and West Sussex County Council (strategic partner).

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