Sheffield Innovation Programme

The Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) is a regional initiative that aims to help businesses grow and build long-term relationships with small and medium enterprises. This is done by giving businesses access to a wide range of academic expertise and university facilities.


The programme is jointly funded by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). Another phase of the project also includes the South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the support is in the form of bespoke research and innovation based consultancy, workshops and events.  A successful innovation programme led by the city’s two universities and SCR Growth Hub has supported a milestone 400 projects with regional businesses helping them to innovate and bring new products and services to market - further information

SIP is a great demonstrator of the University’s Made Together programme: working together with partners to enable our breadth of academic expertise to drive regional productivity and economic growth, and support innovative projects that develop the region’s sustainability, health and cultural offer."

Yasmin Knight 

Assistant Director, Partnerships & Regional Engagement, University of Sheffield.  

Each university will devote a minimum of 12 hours to each enterprise. Since its inception, over 200 academics from both universities have collaborated with over 300 enterprises from across the region. This has helped businesses in the region to engage in more than £1.2m worth of collaborative projects through Innovate UK programmes.

Our expertise

Sheffield Innovation Programme provides access to a broad range of expertise across the University of Sheffield, some key areas include:

  • Computing and software design
  • Cybersecurity
  • Energy solutions
  • Food  sustainability
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Materials science and engineering
  • Manufacturing and digital technologies
  • Robotics
  • Business management

The University of Sheffield aims to provide companies with access to its world-class translational research facilities such as:

  • The Royce Translational Centre - encouraging manufacturing companies to adopt next generation technology in the manufacturing of advanced engineering products and components: the technology of producing and processing metal powders.
  • The Dynamics Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV) - which will support and accelerate the design of innovative engineering structures, for example planes and civil structures such as bridges, by using computer models, to predict the product performance prior to build in order to reduce costs, shorten the time to market, improve safety, increase energy efficiency, and improve longevity.
  • The Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre - which will provide an industry facing innovation hub that leverages our regional innovation capacity in advanced manufacturing and engineering to solve national civil engineering and infrastructure challenges.

    "We would like to thank the Sheffield Innovation Programme for this incredible opportunity. The result of this allowed us to secure additional resources for a summer research programme, which has generated value for the company. At the same time, we are preparing to publish non-commercial aspects of the project work that will be of interest to the scientific community."

    Dr. Leong

    Co-founder of Perfermento

Our SIP projects

Here are a few examples of SIP initiatives that the University of Sheffield has undertaken with local businesses.

Perfermento: Developing a more nutritious and better-tasting soy sauce

Metallurgy experts in the University of Sheffield’s Materials Science and Engineering Department worked with Sheffield biofermentation company Perfermento to use metal foams to extract unwanted flavours and unhealthy impurities to produce a more nutritious (and delicious!) soy sauce. Read the full story.

Active Legs: Improving health of those sat for long periods

A prototype of a digital foot rocker with supporting app which will assist to stimulate leg exercise, increase circulation and improve the health of those who are seated for long periods is in development by Active Legs and multidisciplinary engineering experts from the University of Sheffield. Read the story.

Paper: Exploring the perceptions of deaf people

Senior researchers from the University of Sheffield’s School of Education are collaborating with user research and design studio Paper to explore how deaf people perceive suspense in films as an under-researched and under-represented group. The project aims to form a basis for informing future interaction with deaf people, both in terms of films and conducting research.

Goral: Developing sustainable footwear 

The University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures is working with shoe manufacturer Goral to drive sustainability in shoe manufacture by identifying environmentally-sound ways to utilise leather that would otherwise be waste from manufacture.

Who can get involved?

Eligible businesses in the South Yorkshire region, particularly SMEs, can either get involved via bespoke consultancy projects or through industry focused workshops.

Visit the SIP website

For further information please contact

Laura Talbot, Regional Partnerships Development Officer, Partnerships and Regional Engagement


Phone: +44 114 222 9841

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