Funding to help businesses turn ideas into reality

Academics will be working with a range of companies on a new series of short-term projects designed to get innovative ideas off the drawing board and into reality.

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has won funding for five projects as part of the Government’s new £3m Accelerated Knowledge Transfer to Innovate programme. It was launched earlier this year to deliver short, fast and targeted projects that can make significant impact for a business.

Innovation Bulbs

DMU won funding for all five applications it made, led by the university’s knowledge exchange team of Dr Rhianna Briars and Darsh Chauhan, working with academics across the university. DMU was awarded more than £143,000.

Each project has a maximum funding amount of £35,000 and runs between two and four months.

Dr Briars said: “DMU is always looking to collaborate with local businesses and SMEs to match our areas of expertise with companies in a way that adds real value to the region’s economy.

“We have been delighted with the response from businesses and our academics, and to have all five projects win funding is a great result.”

The projects which have won funding are:

  • Designing new technology to support Deaf dancers and choreographers to create new work, with Serendipity Arts – Professor Tracy Harwood and Dr Dave Paget
  • Designing new software for finance firm Spitfire Analytics to help save customers time and money – Dr Graeme Stuart
  • Helping predict the strength of 3D printed components using a machine learning model – Dr Reza Baserinia and Gamlen Tableting Ltd
  • Testing and creating more efficient furnaces that give a more predictable performance – Dr Abolfazi Zahedi and Dr Meisam Abdi, and Vacuum and Atmosphere Services
  • Creating a database and search system to promote films in all languages - Dr Hiu Man Chan and Trinity Filmed Entertainment


Professor Harwood has worked with Serendipity for many years, including supporting the company with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which helped it to develop its range of digital products.  The company stages culturally diverse productions, champions Black artists and is a part of the region's National Portfolio, funded by Arts Council England.

She said: “The project we have developed is a fascinating opportunity to bring together creative technologies researchers with a local business that is really pushing the boundaries in how it supports creative communities with diverse needs. I love how our collaboration creates a space for innovation as well as gives us new challenges in the process.”


Posted on Tuesday 6th December 2022

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