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Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme

Northumbria University is launching Phase 3 of the Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) for regional businesses.

Deadline: Thursday 30th April 2020

The IIIP Programme provides matched funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) * for Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to enable collaboration with regional universities (Northumbria, Durham, Newcastle and Teesside). The aim is to encourage an innovation culture within SMEs which in turn drives scale-up, export and productivity.

Eligible SMEs will receive part-funding for a PhD student to work on a business-led innovation project. The PhD student will be employed for 3 years by Northumbria University and spend up to 49% of their time working within the SME. The collaboration will support development of new products or services by the SME which will retain the intellectual property generated by the research.

*Subject to confirmation of funding

Funding and SME Financial Contribution

The indicative cost of a collaborative PhD studentship is £10,500 Per Annum for a home or EU student, depending on the nature of the project.

ERDF IIIP provides c.£5,000 PA covering 50% of the PhD student stipend and academic supervisor costs.

The SME provides £4,730 PA for 3 years to cover the student fees, depending on the nature of the project, as well as a mutually agreed budget for additional research and travel costs.  These may include consumables, relevant conference attendance or travel between the university and SME premises.


The SME partner must be based in Tyne and Wear or Northumberland. A broad range of sectors are eligible, excluding:

  • Retail
  • Professional Services

Application Process

  • Application Deadline: Thursday 30th April 2020. Before 12:00 Noon
  • SME Notification: 22nd May 2020
  • Project Start:1st October 2020

Applications must be completed by the SME and returned to Carolyn Horrocks who can also be contacted for further information.

Guidance and 2-part application form can be downloaded from the links below.

Guidance  Application form part one  Application form part two

SMEs which receive funding must sign a collaboration agreement with Northumbria University prior to project start.

Recruitment of PhD students

Candidate collaborative PhD Students will be jointly selected by the SME and Northumbria University.

Studentships advertised: June 2020

Interviews: mid-July 2020

Successful candidates start: 1st October 2020


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