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RISE – Research and Innovation Sussex Excellence – University of Brighton

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University of Brighton, Watts Building, Lewes Road BN2 4GJ

RISE to the challenge with innovation

Are you a small to medium-sized (SME) business in West Sussex with a bright idea, but perhaps don’t have spare funds to access the expertise or support to help if flourish?

RISE (Research and Innovation in Sussex Excellence) can help you innovate and grow. Even better, this unique project is free, flexible and risk-free.

Experts can help your business draw up an innovation action plan, and access cutting-edge research from the universities of Brighton and Sussex to develop, or improve a product, process, or service.

As Lorraine Bell, Head of RISE, explains, innovation is more critical to success than ever. Having worked with businesses on innovation projects for over 15 years, and having been a Director of many SMEs and a Managing Director of a small business herself for over 20 years, she knows only too well of the pinch points many SMEs can face when trying to grow.

“If you have an idea that has the potential to create value for your business, will help you become more productive, competitive and sustainable, then we want to hear from you.”.

“RISE is a really exciting programme which offers webinars, workshops, 1-2-1 support, access to an online community and direct access to cutting-edge research from the universities of Brighton and Sussex – at no cost to members.”


Businesses in the West Sussex Coast to Capital region are welcome to join, subject to eligibility. Once membership is confirmed, an Innovation Advisor will meet with you to discuss your challenges and opportunities, explore any potential gaps in capability and knowledge, and work with you on plan before putting you in contact with the right expertise.

RISE has three key elements:

  • Up to £7,500 free innovation support. This is not a cash grant, but a transfer of knowledge and expertise. This includes funding to ‘buy time’ with academics and get direct input on projects. This could be anything from research on barriers to market, to drawing up a technology map, validating a concept or developing a prototype.
  • Access to a secure portal, where members can connect and network with their peers. It also includes lots of advice, tips and toolkits about training, funding, and innovation.
  • A range for workshops and masterclasses drawing on the latest thinking around innovation, growth, and resilience.

Lorraine says: “RISE is unique in that there’s access to expertise from two universities, no lengthy funding applications to complete, and we are able to quickly assess and scope ideas and put together a workable plan. We can also draw up Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to protect intellectual property rights where needed.

We know that time constraints can be crippling, so there are no two-day workshops, just bite-sized initiatives. We aim for a quick return on investment. Just an hour a week could pay dividends in terms of improving efficiency and productivity.

RISE provides a low-risk, cost free and time effective route to exploring R&D projects. Our Innovation Advisors can get the bones of an idea in an hour and come back later with questions. Hardwiring the process, working out finances, writing a proposal and documentation is all taken care of by the team, completely confidentially.”

Could your business be eligible?

Visit to find out more.


Contact Information
Phone: 07890041770

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