Hi-Tech Sector

Local Activity

Charnwood has seen dramatic growth in the hi-tech sector, thanks, in part to Loughborough University. The development of the Loughborough Technology Centre and the Loughborough Innovation Centre has created opportunities for both spin out companies from the university as well as others to flourish. The opportunities will grow dramatically as the Loughborough University Science Park is built. The location close to both the University and junction 23 of the M1 is probably one of the best for a Science Park in the country. This will provide grow on space for companies at the Innovation Centre as well as inward investment opportunities for existing larger hi-tech companies from other areas. New Technology in the East Midlands.

Funding Sources

There are a number of grants and funding opportunities available for hi tech businesses, please use the link below to access some of them

  • Connect Midlands
    Connect Midlands is a not-for-profit network built for entrepreneurs and investors. Connect Midlands prime purpose is to act as a facilitator and networking vehicle, uniting emerging technology businesses with the resources they need to succeed. Their focus is on improving early stage companies’ understanding of, and access to, equity based finance
  • Invored
    Invored is the investment readiness programme run by Connect Midlands
  • GINEM (Growth Investment Network East Midlands)
    GINEM exists to champion growth investment, and guide entrepreneurs to sources of support and funding through our network of specialists
  • The Lachesis Fund
    Lachesis invests in spin out companies emerging from East Midlands Universities (Loughborough University, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University). Investments range in size from £25K to £250K.
  • Solutions for Business
    A number of products under this general umbrella may be suitable for hi-tech companies. These include Intensive Start Up Support and Starting a High Growth Business

Useful Links and Networking for Hi-Tech Companies:

  • LATI
    LATI is a networking and support organisation for technology and knowledge based organisations and individuals with innovative ideas
  • Loughborough Enterprise Club
    Loughborough Enterprise Club (LEC) is a free networking and support organisation aimed at spin out companies from Loughborough University
  • East Midlands Innovation
    East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has recognised the growing importance of innovation by supporting the development of a Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS). The second RIS covering 2010 – 13 has now been launched. Innovation is seen as an increasingly important way for businesses to maintain a competitive advantage and achieve their growth potential. In a global economy where there is less opportunity to compete on a costs alone basis, innovation becomes a key differentiator.
  • i-Festival
    The Innovation Festival has become an annual event to celebrate the range of innovative companies and activities in the region. The 2010 iFestival, the biggest and most diverse programme of innovation themed events in the UK, started in March and ended in April.
  • i-Nets
    An iNet is a business-led innovation network that provides support to help businesses and individuals in each of the region’s key sectors to become more innovative.
  • SMART Club
    SmartClub is aimed at East Midlands companies that are developing innovative technology. It promises to provide you with valuable information and networking opportunities with like-minded innovative companies and support organisations. For more details please email smartclub@emd.org.uk or call Matthew Sherwood on 0115 988 8490.

Other Hi-Tech Sectors

As well as the specific industry i-Nets, emda commissoned a study into the need for generic innovation support for those businesses that are not served by the existing i-Nets ()