Innovation Clinic: revitalising local businesses

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) programme assisted more than 300 businesses to develop and enhance their business proposition.

The European Regional Development Funded project partnered with Boost Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and ran from 2013 to 2023. The programme specialised in product, graphic and design development. The team had an outstanding track record in identifying and developing ideas and turning them into globally successful product and business solutions. Members of the team had previously worked internationally for Adidas, BT, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, Starbucks, Pentland Plc and Glasdon Group Ltd.

This initiative helped 323 Lancashire-based SMEs, starting with a light-touch programme offering advisory services for up to 120 hours per client, tailored to their specific needs and propositions. Among the beneficiaries was Louvreties, a vertical blind business based in Burnley. The business received support from the project team to launch a new product compliant with regulatory changes in the domestic and commercial window blinds sector.

"The Innovation Clinic helped with the design work of the new concept that was critical up to the point of manufacturing a tool and ensured all the functionality and style criteria was met and was possible in one mouldings tool. A new patent has been applied for and will be the fourth attributed to the concept."

David Howarth, Owner of Louvreties

The project also assisted Lytham-based food company Dalvi’s, with the redesign of their home-made chutney products, making them more suitable to their target audience.

"The Innovation Clinic’s input increased the premium look and feel of my products. They helped to bring my personality through by a mutual understanding and changed my perspective, which was hugely beneficial."

Seema Dalvi, Managing Director at Dalvi's

Gel-Clear, an award-winning Darwen-based company whose products assist with wastewater drainage of chiller cabinets, welcomed the support provided by the project. Managing Director Patrick Gaughan said: "The team at the Innovation Clinic had the knowledge and credentials to understand the whole process of getting the product to market. Also, their independence made me confident that the support they were giving was the best advice for my company, while the whole process has given me more confidence in my own abilities to grow the business in the future."

Discover more

  • Product Development (Innovation Clinic)

    The Innovation Clinic are specialists in new product development, supporting SMEs in Lancashire.

  • Research

    We have a growing and vibrant community of innovative academics who nurture our postgraduate students and early-career researchers, producing high quality international and world-leading research that addresses today’s challenges.

  • SAFE: Strategies Aiming at Effective Fire Evacuation in Highrise Residential Buildings

    The Strategies Aiming at Effective Fire Evacuation in High-Rise Residential Buildings (SAFE) project aims to establish the most effective evacuation methods, interaction and decision-making between residents and firefighters during fire evacuations.