Local Broadband News

New partnership to bring Lincolnshire SMEs up to speed

21st August 2014
New partnership to bring Lincolnshire SMEs up to speed

Onlincolnshire and the University of Lincoln are on the lookout for small and medium-sized businesses which have potential for growth to sign up to a new business support project.

Dr Gary Bosworth

Through the onlincolnshire Knowledge Base Collaboration, businesses will be able to tap in to the skills and expertise of academics and researchers working at the university.

It is hoped this transfer of knowledge from the university to local businesses will enable them to grow, which will benefit the companies themselves but also the Lincolnshire economy as a whole.

Onlincolnshire is a Lincolnshire County Council-run project which is part-funded by the East Midlands European Regional Development Fund Programme.

It aims to help businesses in the county realise the potential of superfast broadband and get up to speed with the latest advances in digital technology by hosting events and masterclasses as well as providing one-to-one business support and advice.

Onlincolnshire has also set up five technology hubs across the county, one of which is based at the University of Lincoln, offering local organisations free use of the latest 3D equipment.   

Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This collaboration project is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to access the digital expertise at the university, helping them to harness the power of superfast broadband and the unrivalled opportunities it provides for growth.”

As part of the 18-month project academics at the university will review the company’s business model, identify barriers to growth and find ways to overcome them.

Jim Shutt, Business Development Manager in the College of Social Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “The onlincolnshire Knowledge Base Collaboration project is more than just IT support. It allows companies to access a more innovative type of business consultancy.

“Experts from the university will establish relationships with companies that have a high growth potential and work with them to realise that potential.”

As part of the collaboration project a forum will be created for gathering and sharing research and intelligence. The forum will comprise small business owners and local experts who actively develop or research digital and online technologies and their social and economic impact.

The resources and findings will be circulated within the forum on a regular basis and will be available to businesses that sign up to the project.

Dr Gary Bosworth, the onlincolnshire Knowledge Base Collaboration Project Director and Director of Research at the University’s Lincoln Business School, said: “As part of the project we’re also going to be producing case studies which will inform policy makers, broadband providers and other SMEs of the benefits and new opportunities that online technologies and increased broadband speeds offer and how they can help businesses grow and perform more efficiently.”

Onlincolnshire and the University of Lincoln are looking for forward-thinking companies that have an interest in online technology and a high potential for growth, especially those in the following Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership priority sectors:

  • Manufacturing and      engineering
  • Renewables
  • Ports and logistics    
  • Agri-food
  • Care services
  • Tourism

Businesses that would like to get involved in the onlincolnshire Knowledge Base Collaboration can register their interest by emailing Dr Gary Bosworth: gbosworth@lincoln.ac.uk