• About
  • Award Categories
  • Why Enter?
  • Nominees
  • Hall of Fame
  • Contact
  • What’s New?
  • FAQs
  • About Market Gravity
  • CEA Judges
  • Back to Nominees


    Norfolk County Council | Hethel Innovation

    The Breakthrough program will drive cross-sector innovation across Norfolk and Suffolk through our digital platforms, training, and events that promote productivity, innovation, and competitiveness, ultimately growing the knowledge economy.

    What customer problems did you set out to solve?

    Regionally and nationally we face many challenges, we set out to solve these challenges both at a business and economic level. Since the recession the UK’s productivity has struggled to get back on track, termed the productivity puzzle.

    In Norfolk and Suffolk, we have a below-average score for income and levels of income deprivation in specific areas. Additionally, our businesses have low access to innovation support, although Norfolk and Suffolk are comparatively strongly on levels of business R&D, it returned a low score for Innovate UK funding in a review of LEP Innovation performance.

    What differentiates your proposition from other offerings in the market?

    We have created a holistic strategy that accelerates the competitiveness, innovation, and productivity of our small businesses. Through accessible training, consultancy, and interventions on everything from starting-up, to innovative thinking, to lean implementation, we will deliver not only a competitive program, but have competitive business come out of it.

    Through the partners we have secured, such as the Norwich Research Park and the Norwich Cambridge Tech Corridor, we will be able to make expert knowledge available to businesses we support and place ourselves in the optimum position to support cross-sector innovation.

    Our team is young, agile and passionate, and bring a unique set of skills and knowledge to the project.

    How have you proven that your concept has potential for impact?

    The strategy has been developed based on a number of years of experience. Through knowledge gained during previous projects and the operation of two incubators that promote innovation we have evolved the strategy to solve market failures. Through this tried and tested strategy we have achieved an excellent economic impact that has:

    • Supported the creation of 1592 jobs
    • Supported 46 collaborations between businesses and unis
    • Supported 1440 businesses
    • Helped created 208 start-ups
    • Supported the development of 99 new products, processes and services
    • Added value to the economy of £21.5m

    Find out more about Hethel Innovation here.