Innovation is key to businesses' growth and can take a number of forms - the development of new products, finding better materials to make an existing product or efficiencies in the processes which make that product, or a company launching itself into fresh markets or an entirely new commercial area.

The D2N2 LEP and D2N2 Growth Hub are committed to helping businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES). Unlike larger companies, SMEs can struggle to find the required time, resources, financing or expertise in-house to innovate. D2N2 understands this and is helping smaller businesses push their innovaton agenda in a number of ways.

Here is a series of videos showing recent D2N2 LEP and Growth Hub activities around Innovation:


The D2N2 LEP has a strategic plan for promoting Innovation in its area - Time to Innovate - created by university partners in the LEP's area of Derby, Derbyshire, Notitngham and Nottinghamshire. It defines innovation as:

..the commercial exploitation of new ideas in the form of new products and processes, new organisational techniques, new markets and new sources of supply which can be new to the firm, new to the market or new to the world."

Download the Executive Summary of Time to Innovate HERE or the full plan HERE

Nottingham Trent University's Business School also created a precursor report to 'Time to Innovate', called Innovation in the D2N2 LEP Area: Baseline Analysis (click on title to download a copy).


Most innovation does not stem from a scientific or technological discovery; it will often be about improving the way a business operates and thinks or how a product or service is offered to the market. It is often a collaborative activity, with some two-thirds of product innovators and two fifths of process innovators engaged in collaborations.

It’s a cliché, but if you want to innovate, you’ve got to step out of the box.

Recent Innovation Highlights


D2N2 Science and Innovation Audit

Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) were launched by the UK Government in 2015. They were intended to enable local consortia to analyse their strengths in science and innovation, and identify specific areas of existing or emerging excellence, which can be built on to drive long-term productivity gains and enable the local areas to realise their full economic growth potential.

Click here to view the D2N2 Science and Innovation Audit



May 24, 2016 - £10.1million innovation boost for hundreds of firms via D2N2

Hundreds of small and medium-sized companies will receive help to innovate and grow with the aid of £10.1million in funding through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The major project will be part-financed by funds via D2N2 – the business-led partnership promoting economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – over three years. The University of Derby, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University will deliver the project and also co-invest in it. More >

May 26, 2016 - £1.3m fund to help transport equipment manufacturing sector innovation

Companies involved in road, rail and aerospace equipment manufacture can apply for research and innovation help from a £1.3million fund, financed via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The ‘Catalysing Growth through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing’ project will be delivered by the University of Derby and Loughborough University. More >

February 2, 2016 - Free Innovation Workshops

The D2N2 Growth Hub ran an Innovation workshop at Nottingham Trent University on February 2, 2016, alongside fellow business support organisation Pera Consulting. This featured an innovation specialist, an opportunity to make business contacts through networking and the chance to book one to one appointments with business advisers. More >  

October 29, 2015 - Innovation Summit event

On October 29, 2015, the  D2N2 LEP, the three area universities and businesses held an event at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University, giving information on the support available to help businesses innovate. This was an opportunity to hear from expert speakers, find out about current innovation activity and companies already involved in collaborations with universities, and meet people offering innovation support and discuss options with them. More >


Resources for Innovation

Information on support for innovation and developing new products can be found on the D2N2 Growth Hub website by clicking HERE.