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East Midlands Chamber News

Companies given a helping hand to invest in technology

Companies in Derbyshire are investing in state of the art technology to grow their businesses with the help of grants from the East Midlands New Technology Initiative (NTI).

Both Chesterfield College and Derby based Accrofab have both benefited from NTI funding to help them purchase new equipment and improve their businesses.

Chesterfield College as part of a group of colleges including Dewsbury College and the London College of Fashion have purchased new equipment to help them print and produce material, cut patterns and create innovative and stylish outfits for the prestigious Can U Cut It Competition. Jeremy Asquith, development manager for design at Chesterfield College said, “Students have been able to learn the whole manufacturing process. Their skills will be much more honed towards the industry. This is going to change the way students learn and have a direct effect on their employability”Meanwhile Accrofab an aerospace component manufacturer based in Spondon have been securing their position in the aerospace safety industry with an innovative new 2D Data Matrix Marking Machine and extensive training for staff helping to increase their overall competitiveness. Nick Willers, Business Manager at Accrofab said, “The aerospace industry has adopted new standards for traceability of components. Larger companies are now flowing down the requirement to their supply chains. But installing the equipment with the help of the NTI grant hasn’t been the be all and end all of the process. Nine of our staff are learning about refining systems and processes by receiving training in Lean Manufacturing at De Montfort University”East Midlands NTI is a £6m initiative backed by leading universities and colleges, to help SMEs invest in state of the art technology. Businesses can apply for grants to invest in capital equipment and enroll staff on NTI approved courses to gain advanced technology skills. It is funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Learning and Skills Council (LSC). East Midlands NTI is the UK’s largest, and recognised as a model of best practice. More information about East Midlands NTI is available on www.eastmidlandsnti.co.uk