Sussex Innovation (a business support incubator network, helping entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to grow) has secured a European Regional Development Fund grant for £600,000 to part-fund the launch of a new open innovation network across the ‘Coast to Capital’ region.

BRAIN (the Business Research Academic Innovation Network) will run until 2020, helping innovative local start-ups and researchers to connect and collaborate with the large organisations and corporates based in the region, which covers overs Brighton & Hove, Croydon, East Surrey, West Sussex and the Lewes District. This will be facilitated by the Sussex Innovation support team and based between the two hubs in Falmer and East Croydon.

“Most large organisations are keen to develop new ideas, but have no process for bringing in innovations from outside,” says Mike Herd, executive director of the Sussex Innovation Centre.

“Internal R&D certainly has value, but it tends to be incremental in nature, rather than creating a step change within the business like an entirely new idea can. It’s very hard to dedicate time and resources to more disruptive ideas, because you need to focus on what’s most essential to the business.”

To find out more about BRAIN and get involved, contact the Sussex Innovation.