Edge Hill academic shortlisted in Director of the Year awards

Professor Simon Bolton from Edge Hill University has been shortlisted as a finalist at the Institute of Directors (IoD) regional awards 2019 for Director of the Year for Innovation.

The annual IoD North West & Isle of Man awards are a celebration of the very best in good governance and leadership, and the achievements of the individuals that contribute to businesses within the region and across the UK.

Simon joined Edge Hill University in Ormskirk in 2016 as Associate Dean of Enterprise and Employability, and Professor of Innovation.  He is an internationally acclaimed designer, practice-led researcher and innovation consultant specialising in helping organisations improve and develop their innovation capabilities and business performance.

Simon is also the Director of the Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC), launched by the University as a key resource for SMEs across Lancashire to access support for profitable growth. The PIC is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and aims to support SMEs to improve the productivity of their innovation practices, expertise and capabilities within the region.

SMEs from Lancashire can participate in a unique Profitable Innovation Programme led by Simon and his team.  Described as “Lancashire’s best kept secret”, the Programme has been tailored to benefit SMEs and uses the acclaimed Innovation Sprint Programme in a series of workshops. The intensive Programme helps businesses develop new products, services and business models to increase profits, support growth and adapt to a changing competitive landscape.

Businesses that are eligible can receive fully-funded assistance to attend the Programme. Since early 2018, 33 new regional SMEs have successfully completed the programme and the results are already speaking for themselves.

Leon Calverley, Managing Director of Door4, E-Commerce Agency was one of the first businesses to complete the Programme. Leon said, “The Programme has, quite literally, changed our business. We now have a laser focused offer, both in terms of service range, target customer and marketing communications.”

Simon explained, “I am delighted to be shortlisted for the Director of Innovation Award. The Centre is making a real difference to the economic development of the region’s most ambitious SMEs.  Working collaboratively to improve SME innovation practices not only boosts growth but creates great employability and work placement opportunities for our students.”

The awards ceremony will take place on the 4th April at the Hilton Hotel, Manchester.

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