In 2019 AMION completed two summative assessments of ERDF-funded projects for Loughborough University.
The Productivity and Capability Enhancement (PACE) project assisted SMEs in the Leicester & Leicestershire LEP area to increase their capabilities, productivity and competitiveness and take calculated risks in implementing new product, process and service improvements. The project focused on the LEP’s priority sectors and the support provided included a combination of: an information, diagnostic and brokerage review; grant funding towards external costs of investments in enhanced capabilities and new technologies; and market access support. The project had total funding of £2.2 million, with ERDF providing 46%.
The Smart Innovation and Networking for Growth (SING) project supported SMEs to significantly improve existing products or develop new products, processes and services. The project focused on the LEP’s priority sectors and the support provided included a combination of: access to expertise and co-operation with universities and other research centres and institutes; and grant funding towards external costs of innovation projects. The project had total funding of £2 million, with ERDF providing 50%.
Each evaluation included a telephone survey of beneficiaries (carried out by Spirul), consultations with project staff from the University and other stakeholders and case studies of a number of beneficiaries.
Our evaluations showed that both projects had performed well in relation to their targets, with all targets either achieved or exceeded. Both projects also had high satisfaction levels and were forecast to deliver substantial long-term employment and GVA impacts.