Plus X Brighton
SCALING UP IS HARD TO DO BUT OUR NEW ‘BRITE’ INNOVATION PROGRAMME COULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.
Innovators often achieve early-stage growth at a trailblazing pace but the path to scale up can slow significantly without the right support and guidance.
A 2019 review from The ScaleUp Institute celebrated a 35% increase in UK scale-ups since 2013. But Sherry Coutu, then-Chair of The ScaleUp Institute, recognised that cities and UK regions were organisational clusters that could do more. She highlighted the need to share data and evidence, the vital role of education and the ability to create an enabling ecosystem – both local and national.
We believe our new ‘BRITE’ innovation programme answers these needs directly.
We have launched a new programme with the University of Brighton to bring an extra £10.5 million of support to the Coast to Capital region’s most inspiring growing businesses. This huge additional investment will empower scores of SMEs – and the local economy – to grow; faster, bigger and more sustainably.
Over a three-year period, the BRITE project (Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange) will support more than 100 companies in their scale-up journey. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership (LEP) and U+I, the specialist regeneration property developer, the project will offer comprehensive innovation business support, world class product development facilities and growth support from Plus X, coupled with the University of Brighton’s world class innovative research expertise.
We think of it as a rocket-powered growth platform for ambitious businesses.
So why Brighton? This programme perfectly complements the city’s status as one of the top 10 UK locations supporting business growth and opportunities. The University of Brighton is a great fit for innovators, priding itself as a forward thinking and inclusive institution that thrives on creating, applying and putting knowledge to work. It’s a pioneering place, leading the way in collaborative research in innovation, creative technology, engineering, arts, science and environmental capabilities.
BRITE is located within our brand new seven-storey Plus X innovation hub in Brighton. A dedicated team is providing tailored mentorship, strategic advice, access to academic research teams and cutting-edge facilities attracting high-potential businesses from across the region and beyond. Above all, it will offer the opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas across sectors; reducing risk and amplifying reward, helping each business scale through innovation.
So why is this support needed? Put simply, scale up growth is a challenging journey.
Businesses have a raft of considerations as they grow; where and how to market their services or products, how to navigate legislation, how and when to recruit, how to invest for the long-term, and how to respond when things, inevitably, don’t quite go as planned. Having a supportive, experienced team on hand can make a significant difference.
BRITE will provide programme members with access to specific tools that may otherwise prove too expensive or fragmented. This includes a high-quality research development and innovation workshop space, kitted out with world class physical and digital making equipment including precision CNC milling machines, laser cutters, UX test suites, an electronics laboratory, image, video and podcast studios.
The team will deliver diagnostics on scale-up strategies, coupled with the University of Brighton’s unique, dynamic and impact focused innovation tools and programmes, developed by the University’s Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM). Chosen business members will receive individually tailored mentorship, peer to peer accountability and support from experienced business leaders.
Above all, they’ll be surrounded by an exciting business community with companies of all sizes located within our Plus X Brighton innovation hub, created specifically with collaboration, connection and positive productivity in mind.
And the benefits won’t just be felt by the individual businesses and their employees. Real Worth research suggests Plus X can generate millions of pounds of positive societal impact thanks to factors like our specialist facilities, workshops and job creation and its impact on improving prospects and health; a value 160 times greater than a traditional office block. Plus X Brighton will attract new talent and brilliant new businesses to the area.
BRITE aims to focus on where it can deliver the most value. That means focusing on high-potential businesses with ambitious leadership and talented teams.
BRITE is open to SMEs with less than 250 employees, based in the Sussex and South East region with demonstrable growth plans and an appetite to bring exciting new products or services to market.
We’ve been helping businesses grow and thrive over the past five years. Our Central Research Laboratory (CRL) hub in Hayes was the catalyst for developing the unique Plus X formula and we are so proud of the CRL Accelerator success stories including Aceleron which went from one person to 12 full-time staff, attracting considerable venture capital, and Chip[s] Board, currently in a strategic partnership with McCain turning potato waste into bio-plastics.
Our Plus X innovation hubs are dedicated to transforming places. They combine inspiring architecture, award-winning work space, curated collaboration, superior facilities and a wealth of business support including services designed to support positive productivity, mental and physical health. Our mutually beneficial connections with local education partners and local communities help unlock potential on all sides.
Drawing on our existing expertise and complementing this with a new dedicated team and our University of Brighton partnership, BRITE will drive innovation and opportunity, benefiting businesses and the Coast to Capital area.
You can find out more about BRITE here.