ERDF Project 2009 - 2015
The ERDF funded Future Factory project operated from April 2009 – September 2015 as NTU's hub for business support in sustainable design and practice.
During this six-and-a-half year period the project successfully supported 245 collaborative projects with SMEs in the East Midlands area, helping each business to access the expertise and support they required to inspire change in their businesses. The project additionally supported nearly 400 local SMEs to improve their performance and helped to create over 50 jobs in the region. In addition the project placed over 300 recent graduates in to placement or employment opportunities.
Working across all colleges the impact of the Future Factory project was recognised when during 2013 it won a Green Gown Award for its success in bringing together academic and research staff along with students, technologies and SME businesses to drive change across a suite of innovative collaborations.
A Guardian HE award was also awarded to NTU in 2015 as a result of a Future Factory initiative that took a leadership approach to working with SMEs, again bringing together local business, students and external expertise to evaluate energy saving initiatives.
During its lifetime the project worked closely with external bodies and built ongoing, practical relationships with such organisations as Nottinghamshire County Council, East Midlands Chamber, CleanTech Centre, and The Creative Quarter Company.
The project delivered a range of events and workshops on subjects as diverse as eco fashion and lean management, green marketing and the circular economy, often delivered by internationally renowned experts brought in specially by the team. These events were promoted to and made accessible to local businesses.
One of the legacies of the ERDF funded phase of Future Factory is a more collaborative working model that is epitomised in the Future Factory Research and Consultancy Centre. This space enables businesses and NTU experts across a range of disciplines to work together and make business support more accessible.