Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers to help East Anglian SMEs benefit from university expertise

Professor Vania Sena, director of the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLGDRC).

Professor Vania Sena, director of the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLGDRC). Picture: Paul Tait - Credit: Archant

Small and medium sized businesses are being urged not to miss out on an opportunity to tap into the data analysis expertise of four universities.

The Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLGDRC) is inviting firms to apply for Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers (DAIVs) to access support in collecting and using data more effectively or to provide data training for staff.

The programme was first unveiled earlier this year but the centre is now offering initial consultation appointments to help businesses understand how they could benefit.

Professor Vania Sena, director of the BLGDRC, said: “Our Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers offer businesses a unique opportunity to explore their data and address problems with the support of our researchers who are experts in their field.

“You may be unaware of the type of data we can help with; that is absolutely fine! You do not need to have any specific data already collated or stored; our researchers can work with you to identify the data needed to move forward with a project.

“To help you get started we’re now offering DAIV consultation appointments, either face-to-face or by telephone, where we can discuss ideas with you. Following these meetings we can support you in completing your full application for a DAIV. “We’d urge anybody who thinks they may be eligible to express their interest and book a consultation now.”

The BLGDRC is based at the University of Essex but also has experts at the University of East Anglia, the London School of Economics and the University of Kent.

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Besides micro, small and medium sized firms, DAIVs are also available to local authorities, charities and not-for-profit organisations. Each voucher offers up to £2,000 of support, with eligible organisations allowed to apply for up to two vouchers a year for a maximum of three years.

For further details visit www.blgdataresearch.org/ and click on “Data Analytics” or call 01206 873859. The website includes an initial application form with an option to take advantage of the consultation offer.

If the offer is selected applicants will be contacted within two working days to set up an appointment; if not, they will be informed within 10 working days whether they are eligible to make a full application.