North-east firms to get boost

Almost £2 million of European funding has been given to the Institute of Digital Innovation (IDI) to help start 90 new companies in the north-east.

The £1.9 million of funding will add to current monies from the One North East development agency and the University of Teesside.

A second phase of the IDI project will now be launched which will be aimed at the digital sector and help to maintain business growth.

Professor Cliff Hardcastle, deputy vice chancellor for research and enterprise at the university, says: ‘The IDI provides physical facilities for digital technology innovation and research to be brought to market through new and existing companies.’

Alan Clarke, One North East chief executive, states the facility will provide funding and support to digital and media business ideas which are commercially viable.

The project also aims to help graduates make a business out of their ideas, by helping develop them and provide expertise to start up firms.

IDI was started in 2005 and currently allows firms to lease office space and improve research and enterprise links with the university.

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