The YU Technical Assistance (YUTA) project ran between January 2014 and September 2015. With LEP support YU gained European Regional Development funding to help universities engage in both the development and operation of the European Union Structural Plan (2014-2020). The aims of the project were to:
- Improve collaboration between the LEPs in Leeds City Region; York, North Yorkshire and East Riding; and Humber, and Yorkshire’s universities to ensure a shared approach to development of the LEP’s strategic economic plans;
- Identify and develop a pipeline of strategic collaborative projects for possible European investment;
- Promote good practice on the use of innovation funding and European Structural and Investment Funding (ESIF) in the higher education sector. This aim was made possible by funding from HEFCE.
- ‘Universities and ESIF: Playing our part in delivering growth – A good practice guide for senior managers and practitioners in Higher Education’
- An overview for HE leaders: ‘Supporting economic growth: part of the university mission’
- An overview for Local Enterprise Partnerships: ‘How can universities deliver local economic growth?’
The conference to publicise and promote its findings, positioned YU nationally, working closely with national bodies, such as Universities UK.
YUTA actively enabled YU to convene project groups for key sectors of the Yorkshire economy. By the submission date for proposals in May 2015, expression of interests for ESIF funding were submitted in medical innovation (MedTech Innovation, led by the University of Leeds); in bio-economy (BioVale, led by the University of York); innovation in high growth SMEs (Access Innovation, led by the University of Leeds); and start-up support for SMEs (Ad:venture, led by Leeds City Council).