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Innovating during a downturn: support available for SMEs

23 February 2023

The UK is predicted to slide into a recession in 2023, which will impact businesses of all sizes and sectors. Potential challenges ahead include reduced demand, supply chain issues, lower profits and retaining employees.

With SMEs accounting for 51.9% of the private sector (2020) and 53.6% of all private sector jobs in the UK, the ‘resilience, adaptability and agility’ of SMEs (Sage, 2023) will be crucial to the rebuilding of the UK economy.

The recently published National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) 2022 State of the Relationship Report analyses the key trends in university-business collaboration. The findings reveal that despite the external uncertainties and financial pressures faced by the higher education sector and business, collaboration is key for enabling SMEs to grow and innovate.

Cardiff University works with SMEs across the whole of UK, encouraging, supporting and developing innovation. We help organisations develop innovative ideas and solve business problems that lead to substantial benefits and outputs. Our researchers are engaged in a diverse range of research collaborations supported by funded programmes such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Our Innovation Campus provides organisations with the facilities, resource and support to encourage innovation and growth. This includes Cardiff Innovations – a creative space for start-ups, spin outs and SMEs which is helping to turn great ideas into growth across Wales and beyond. Housed within the sbarc I spark building, the business incubator space is spread across 4 floors and is the focal point for the fostering and development of industry partnerships.

On Wednesday 8th March we will explore the range of ways SMEs can work with Cardiff University, to deliver innovation and growth, during the current economic downturn. Chaired by Professor Rob Rolley, KT Adviser for Wales, we have an amazing programme of speakers who will each provide insight and knowledge on this topic. We are delighted to be joined by Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead, Research and Innovation, National Centre for Universities and Business, Pete Sueref, Co-Founder and CTO of Empirisys, Professor Luigi De Luca, Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing and Innovation, Cardiff Business School plus Professor Jane Lynch, Director – Centre of Public Value Procurement, Cardiff Business School.

Following a series of talks a Q&A panel discussion will take place, with questions taken from the audience.


Cardiff University Innovation Network Event, 8th March, 10am-12pm

Date: Wednesday 8th March 2023

Time: 10:00am – midday

Location: sbarc|spark, Maindy Road, Cardiff University

Register here