What is Activate? It’s not just another support programme!

What is Activate? It’s not just another support programme!

Activate is supporting digital and creative SMEs in Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral to grow. But what does that mean for you?

In the UK, we’ve got some of the world’s best universities doing some of the world’s best research. Our academic industry, however, is often very self-contained, meaning UK businesses don’t get to make the most of the research potential available. Activate seeks to remedy this by connecting businesses to the cutting-edge research skills and tools at our universities.

What’s the premise?

In the Liverpool City Region, one way of doing this is giving businesses in our thriving digital and creative sector access to the outstanding technology and business work that is carried out at our universities. By doing so, we can both boost the performance of businesses themselves and give the sector a competitive advantage over areas like London, Manchester and Leeds that have traditionally stolen a march on us.

Of course, typically, only businesses with the biggest budgets can afford to invest heavily in horizon-scanning R&D, taking risks that might fail but that, if they don’t, could catapult them to the front of the market. The majority of businesses don’t have the resource for that investment or risk. Activate gives those businesses the chance to carry out R&D without that same level of risk.

Who’s eligible?

We can work with any small to medium size enterprise (SME) involved in the digital and creative sector in the Liverpool City Region of Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Saint Helens, Knowsley or Halton. You might be a business in the sector or have projects that spill into the sector. And it’s a pretty broad sector.

In addition to what you might expect it to include, like software, programming and electronic publishing, digital and creative covers advertising, arts and antiques, craft design, fashion, video and film photography, publishing, digital entertainment media, IT, telecoms, motion picture and manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products, among others.

As for what counts as an SME, you must employ fewer than 250 staff, your turnover must be less than €50 million (around £44 million) and you need a balance sheet of less than €43 million (around £38 million).

In short: there’s a very good chance you are eligible for our support.

What’s on offer?

We can help you work out if your idea is going to make money, work out if it’s technically feasible and build the knowledge and confidence to make decisions about different product development activities. We offer bespoke plans of one-to-one support, workshops and grants.

When businesses enquire to Activate we work with them to identify what support they need and then designate them to one of our partners, either Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) or the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to work through a bespoke support package.

LJMU provides support for things like working with data, identifying patterns and trends, network and information security and computer games technology. It also provides business guidance for finance, management, HR and marketing.

We also have a strategic partnership with The Hartree Centre, which is the UK’s foremost high-performance computing facility. It can work with businesses to find how to make the most out of their data on an ongoing basis and use it to gain a competitive advantage.

What’s the upshot?

If you’re an SME working in, or doing any work in, the digital and creative sector, it’s very likely you’re eligible for support and it’s very likely it can make a big difference to you. You might have an idea of how we can help or have no idea – either way, if you get in touch, we’ll work with you to understand what your needs are and how we can help.

Social posts:

UK businesses don’t get to make the most of the research potential available at our world class universities. Activate remedies this by connecting businesses to the cutting-edge research skills and tools at our universities.

Typically, only businesses with the biggest budgets can afford to invest heavily in horizon-scanning R&D that could catapult them to the front of the market. Activate gives other businesses the chance to carry out R&D without that same level of investment or risk.

Activate’s business support is available to small to medium size enterprise (SME) involved in the digital and creative sector in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Saint Helens, Knowsley or Halton.

Activate support can help digital and creative businesses work out if an idea is going to make money, work out if it’s technically feasible and build the knowledge and confidence to make decisions about different product development activities.

Activate’s business support for SMEs in the Liverpool City Region is delivered by LJMU, FACT and the LEP.

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