ERDF Industrial PhD programme

Published on 11/05/2018
ERDF Industrial PhD programme

North East England’s universities are joining forces under a £3.9m scheme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to connect the region’s businesses with research to encourage growth and job creation.

The Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) will see Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities work directly with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region to develop new services and products for the market.

Eligible SMEs will be supported by a dedicated PhD research student for three years, as well as access to senior academic researchers and university research facilities. 

The project is targeted at supporting businesses in (or hoping to access) the priority sectors identified in the economic plans of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

These sectors are:
North East LEP: Passenger vehicle manufacturing; subsea and offshore technology; life sciences and healthcare; creative, digital, software and technology-based services; surface science; ageing; energy; systems satellite applications; energy networks; materials integration; water.

Tees Valley Combined Authority: Chemicals; health innovation; energy; advanced manufacturing; logistics; digital and creative; the Circular Economy.

The ultimate aim of the IIIP is to encourage a culture of innovation that benefits business, leading to greater export opportunities and increased graduate employment, particularly in science and engineering. 

If you are an SME operating in the North East and Tees Valley in one of the sectors listed above, with ambitions for growth that could be enhanced through dedicated postgraduate research, then please get in touch with the team at or complete the Expression of Interest form here: 

Applications to the scheme will close at midday on Monday, 4 June 2018.

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