We asked you what support you needed?

  • Published on 30th May 2019

Summary of results from our recent survey...

We have been working hard recently writing bids for new programmes to replace SING and PACE.  As part of this process we conducted a survey of our clients, asking them what plans they had to invest in new product development projects and research.  We also asked what support would help them do this and what barriers have prevented them accessing this support in the past.  The survey addressed the next 3-4 years.


Key findings from this survey include:

  • 68% of SMEs surveyed plan to carry out R&D / innovation projects aiming to develop new products, services or processes.
  • 98% of those SMEs plan to make some revenue investments and 75% plan to make capital investments in support of these development projects
  • almost 93% of respondents indicated that non-financial support would provide a useful contribution to their growth plans
  • 50% of respondents expressed an interest in accessing students and graduates to work on their projects
  • 37% indicated an interest in networking opportunities/visits to the university to enhance their knowledge of ways in which they can work with academics

from proof-of-concept….. through to the current full-scale commercial production, iNet support has formed a critical piece of the funding jigsaw, and we are now looking forward to significant growth…

(quote from existing iNet client)

As a result of receiving support:

  •         44% of respondents felt they would experience significant business improvement,
  •         52% felt they would be able to carry out more R&D/Innovation projects,
  •         43% believed it would improve their knowledge and access to support from research institutes.
  •         almost 71% expect to be able to increase their profitable turnover
  •         almost 50% expect to be able to increase their headcount

‘The report’ ….’was very useful - much more comprehensive than I anticipated. It helped to confirm some of the ideas/view I held, but also made me consider some other options going forward’

(quote from existing iNet client)

Useful forms of non-financial (grant) support identified, includes:

  • student and graduate placement support (50%)
  • access to university facilities for R&D (43%)
  • networking visits to the University (37%)
  • identifying potential markets/customers (37%)
  • access to new technologies (35%)
  • routes to market/commercialisation support (35%)

In addition to the above, others suggested support for marketing and employee training. Neither of these can be directly addressed by our proposed ERDF programmes. However, our Advisors Pauline and Georgette, are happy to signpost to schemes that can.

Your assistance has helped us work our way through the application process, your input has made it an easier one to navigate

(quote from existing iNet client)

 Finally, we asked the group what factors made it difficult for them to access support (not restricted to programmes run by The iNet). 

The factors identified include:

  • restrictions on the amount they could spend,
  • complexity of application processes,
  • restricted eligibility criteria and
  • limited ability to make investments.  

We would like to thank all of you who completed the survey.  The results are very useful when we design and bid for future programmes.