Advice from 12 academics with business experience

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It is spending almost £2million to help more than 100 local businesses solve technical problems or turn great ideas into money spinning ventures.

Innovation Futures - Sheffield Hallam University’s R&D department - wants to hear from companies, particularly SMEs, which could benefit from its expertise in research and consultancy.

It has a team of 12 academics, all with business experience, and its funding is set to run until July 2015.

Innovation Futures director Alex Prince said: “The team has already engaged with around 50 businesses since the beginning of the year, with strong continuing demand.”

Staff work in the Sheffield Business School, the Materials and Engineering Research Institute, the Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute; and the Biomedical Research Centre.

The R&D department is funded with £900,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, matched by the university.