Laura Woods1

Support from Teesside University has helped scores of companies navigate their way through the challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the start of lockdown, the university quickly pivoted its expert-led programmes to ensure they were meeting innovation and skills needs across the region.

Analysis by the university has shown that significant numbers are accessing its support.


Highlights to date include:

  • 55 companies given specialist technical support
  • 101 individuals helped to improve their digital skillset through the Digital Skills for Growth programme
  • Detailed diagnostic work with 22 companies to come up with tailored responses to COVID-19 challenges, with the opportunity to apply to the University’s ERDF-funded Spark Fund for financial support to implement them.

Despite the pandemic, the region’s entrepreneurial appetite is as strong as ever, with 25 new startups taking part in the DigitalCity Accelerator and 18 startups assisted through the university’s online Microbiz Academy.

The university-led DigitalCity initiative has also helped 13 companies prepare for growth through its SCALE programme.

Staff at the university prepared 20 bids for grant support for companies looking to innovate and grow.

This analysis follows the news earlier this month (July) that the activities of Teesside University benefited the region by more than £128.4m as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), according to a new report.

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, said: “We’re very pleased that the university has been able to react so promptly to the unique situation faced by businesses.

“The past few months have demonstrated yet again – and more sharply than ever - the innovation and resilience with which our region responds to significant challenges.

"Companies have pivoted to provide new goods and services, while entrepreneurs have continued to find new markets for their goods and services.

“We’re delighted to be playing a part in supporting them, and are now focused on helping the region bounce back from the economic effects of the pandemic.”

For more information visit Teesside University’s services to business web pages.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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