Dr Michael Joseph
RIEm Programme Lead, Brunel University London
Launched in 2022 and funded by the UK Government, a programme is helping SMEs to secure funding so that validated innovative solutions can be scaled up.
The Research, Innovate and Emerge (RIEm) programme at Brunel University London helps ambitious SMEs to translate their research and innovation (R&I) into fundable projects, so their solution can be taken to the market.
Turning ideas into expertise
In the initial phase, the RIEm team assesses the innovation capacity and needs of the SMEs. Then, they help participants to develop an R&I plan. In the third phase, the team mentors the business to draft an organisation-specific R&I concept note for funding.
Edward Kole, Founder of Katlas Technology and featured on National Centre for University and Business says: “RIEm helped me in crafting an application that has got an award of £50,000 from Innovate UK. I highly recommend the programme.”
With a cohort-based approach, Brunel University London helps each business target a particular funder. In the final phase, businesses submit R&I funding proposals with a higher chance of securing funding.
The RIEm programme is helping businesses
secure funding for innovation and
collaborate with research experts.
Leading SMEs to success
The programme helped Stix Mindfulness validate its health solutions and sell products. Liam Murphy, Cofounder of Stix Mindfulness says: “The programme helped support my confidence in grant writing. We were successful with the first application.”
The programme allows SMEs to engage with world-class R&I experts and investors to secure funding. Businesses have access to the university resources and expertise to test and validate their innovation for scaling up.
Research experts from the University support SMEs to optimise their innovative products and services and secure further funding to validate their technology — and to ensure that the product is ready to take to the market.
Support securing funding
The programme’s unique customer-focused approach, combined with one-to-one mentoring support, has helped businesses submit funding applications with a total of over £7 million since its launch. They have secured around £900,000 from public and private funders.
Due to the success of the programme, West London Business (a regional body) shortlisted RIEm for its 2024 award in the ‘Incubator/Coworking Space’ category. The programme has helped 48 SMEs, mostly from London and South East England. The programme’s success has taken it international to India and helped 10 Indian-established businesses to develop partnerships with UK SMEs.
Professor Geoff Rodgers, Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Employment, says: “The RIEm programme is helping businesses secure funding for innovation and collaborate with research experts. Brunel University London views RIEm as a key component of its SME research and innovation engagement strategy.” The University is now inviting SMEs to apply for the next RIEm edition.