13th March 2019

Posted by Creative Colchester

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EIRA: Connecting businesses with the research power of universities

In April 2018 Research England announced the recipients of its Connecting Capability Fund. Amongst them, a new collaborative network of seven universities and colleges in the East of England was awarded £4.7 million to drive innovation and growth in the region. This network is EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) and serves a growing market need across this part of the UK. EIRA offers support to businesses across three key themes: digital creative, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. It provides businesses with access to academic expertise, consultancy, specialist facilities and funding opportunities.

The network is led by the University of Essex and other Eastern ARC partners: the University of East Anglia and the University of Kent. The network also comprises the University of Suffolk, Harlow College, Norwich University of the Arts and Writtle University College. EIRA is further supported by business partners BT Group, TechEast and AgriTech East, Digital Catapult, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) and South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

EIRA has something to offer businesses of all sizes – whether you’re a start-up, SME or established larger business. It engages businesses with academic expertise through Innovation Vouchers, Research and Development Grants, i-Teams, Hothouse and other events, Start-up Microfinance and Innovation Internships. Funding opportunities are available towards smaller projects which cost up to £7.5k and for larger projects which cost up to £50k.

The EIRA project has already awarded £24,994 to renowned poet Murray Lachlan Young to support the production of an immersive VR experience for his new show, ‘The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps’. The EIRA Grant Review Panel were impressed by the ideas in the proposal and were pleased that academics could share expertise to enhance the impact of VR and other immersive technologies on performance. They were also keen to support the commercialisation of a multi-platform model and develop how it can be used to reach new audiences.

EIRA can help you make sense of the technologies emerging across the three key themes and provide you with tailored support and expertise. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with us through our website https://eira.ac.uk/contact/. You can also follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/EIRA_eARC to be kept up to date with our latest news and events.