Acceleration Through Innovation Celebrates 6-Year Legacy of Business Innovation

The Cornish business support programme, Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI), celebrated its 6-year legacy of innovation at its final event, named Celebrating Innovation, on March 7 at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay. 

Over 60 small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have engaged with the programme gathered in support, to celebrate all they have achieved together and hear about the impact the project has had on businesses throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  

One such Bude business benefitting from ATI support was the Cleaner Seas Group, whose Co-Founder, Dave Miller, spoke at the celebration event. “It was a delight to collaborate and celebrate innovation in Cornwall,” he said on Twitter.  

With the help of ATI, the Cleaner Seas Group has developed a retrofit washing machine microplastics filter to stem the flow of synthetic fibres released into our waterways with every wash. The green-tech firm received IP protection, research, and innovation support as part of the programme’s bespoke package, as well as being awarded grant funding to assist with the prototyping of their microplastic filter technology.  

ATI’s Celebrating Innovation event shone a spotlight on 15 of their clients, who graciously took time out of their day to exhibit and speak about their innovation projects. From tasting the new ‘Tempiii’ plant-based snack range, the first tempeh made in Cornwall by Alice Harper of Harper’s Health; to learning about Disconnected Energy (formerly Rebel Technologies), who have developed an off-grid solar-powered solution that is ideally suited to powering a garden office or replacing noisy generators – delegates were encouraged to meet, connect, and explore collaborative opportunities.  

Jo Hancock, ATI Programme Manager, who hosted the event, said: “We are incredibly proud of everything that our successive projects have achieved and the impact that ATI’s support has had for those businesses we have worked with. Our 6-year legacy of accelerating business innovation in Cornwall may have come to an end but support from the University of Plymouth will be ongoing via their business engagement programmes, such as Enterprise Solutions”. 

ATI first launched in 2017 to help support businesses in Cornwall with their aspirations to innovate and commercialise new opportunities, something which is known to lead to increased growth, productivity, and sustainable change for the county. 

Due to its success in helping businesses generate new ideas and breaking down barriers to innovation and growth, the ATI project, which is led by the University of Plymouth and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, was then extended in 2020 for another 3 years as ATI2. 

As ATI2 comes to its conclusion, the project proudly released figures for the last three years, which saw them successfully engage over 514 Cornish SMEs and work intensively with 135 businesses that received bespoke support for their particular innovation project.  

The ATI2 Innovation Fund also awarded £510k in grants to 53 businesses, supporting innovation projects across Cornwall with a total value exceeding £1m. In addition, the programme opened 5 Pop-Up Innovation Centres across the county as part of their outreach activities, and to engage and support businesses in the more remote areas of Cornwall. 

For more information about ATI2 and their impact on Cornish businesses, visit their website: