The University of Plymouth is launching a virtual support programme for Cornish businesses as they continue their battle for survival in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With its seasonal economy and reliance on income from tourists, 2020 has been an especially tough year for companies of all sizes in the county.
But with a second national lockdown in progress, and a more challenging winter than ever about to begin, supporting businesses has never been more crucial.
With this in mind, the University is hosting a series of sessions through a Virtual Pop-up Centre Facebook group. Building on the success of physical Pop-up Innovation Centres that previously opened in high streets and industrial estates across the county, the virtual centre takes the services of knowledge exchange, collaboration, community and support to businesses digitally.
Open to all sectors of the Cornish business community, it will highlight the University’s expertise in business support and knowledge exchange as well as making company bosses and entrepreneurs aware of various funding sources currently available.
The live sessions, the first of which will take place on Friday this week, are being led by the Acceleration Through Innovation 2 (ATI2) programme.
A £3.4 million project, led by the University and part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), its aim is to drive business innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Since its launch in 2017, it has engaged over 770 businesses, awarded 55 innovation grants with a total value in excess of £1.3 million and helped numerous businesses across the county to bring new products, services and processes to the market.