EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) is a 3 year project, building on the success of Eastern ARC, funded by Research England to drive forward world-class university commercialisation.
EIRA will support innovation in the East of England by helping businesses to access research expertise from universities and colleges in the region. The project has a specific focus on three themes: artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative, drawing on the substantial expertise of the institutions involved.
The Eastern ARC institutions each lead on one of the three themes, and contribute specialist expertise to the all three themes as well as specialist campus facilities. Additional knowledge and facilities will be provided by Harlow College, Norwich University of the Arts, University of Suffolk and Writtle University College who complete the full EIRA network. As well as enabling individual collaborations between academics and businesses EIRA will work to develop knowledge exchange activity and collaborative activities across the network.
A range of grant funding opportunities enable businesses to draw on EIRA expertise, from small scale projects funded by Innovation Vouchers to larger scale work funded by Research and Development Grants.
EIRA will also enable students to be involved with businesses, running i-Teams and funding Innovation Internships.
The Network has already awarded a number of Proof of Concept grants to enable academics to develop ideas with commercial focus. These awards will allow innovative ideas to be developed,