Universities offer free 'Tech Check' to boost local business


Nanofactory, a consortium of Yorkshire's leading universities, is offering local companies free access to their expertise to help develop new products or improve processes.

The aim of the 'Tech Check' scheme is to provide a boost to small and medium sized companies and the Yorkshire economy.

Nanofactory brings together scientists and engineers from the universities of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and York. Companies with technical challenges are being offered Tech Checks to give their products an edge through introducing new technologies, such as nanotechnology. 

What is a Tech Check?

Tech Checks involve a business development manager from one of the participating universities visiting companies to find out more about their specific challenges, with a view to working out how the region's top universities can help. Nanofactory has already helped many regional companies secure additional funding to aid R&D (research and development) activities, and introduce new technologies to their products and processes. Nanofactory provides companies with expertise in a broad range of areas.  These include:

  • Machines and measurement
  • Plastics engineering
  • Coatings and inks
  • Solar materials and energy storage
  • Sustainable construction materials
  • Drug discovery and delivery

New product development

Nanofactory Director Professor Simon Biggs, who is based at the University of Leeds, commented:

"In the current economic climate, many companies are looking to introduce new products to remain competitive, especially compared with foreign firms", 

"We really want to work in partnership with our local companies to develop new R&D and to get new technologies out of the region's universities and into production in our local companies."

Yorkshire companies spend less on R&D

With Yorkshire SMEs spend on R&D three times lower than the national average and the current economic climate making life difficult for companies, the free  'tech check' aims to boost the region's economy by creating new opportunities for companies that will help create and safeguard jobs. 

"In the last 3 years more than 60,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Yorkshire", continues Professor Biggs. "We want to help companies develop new opportunities to help rebuild the local economy."

About Nanofactory

The Nanofactory project is part-funded by a £2.5m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme that is making substantial investments over the next 3 years to create jobs and increase business competitiveness in the region.

Find out more

Nanofactory's Tech Check is being launched at two forthcoming local events, Venturefest and The Yorkshire Mafia Conference, where companies will have the opportunity to meet with Nanofactory and learn more about how Nanofactory can help them.

Companies interested in taking a Tech Check should contact Sean Kelly at:

0113 343 2402 

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk