Made Smarter Adoption North East: Student and Graduate Internship Fund

Delivered by North East Local Enterprise Partnership

  • Three more internship grants available for North East businesses
  • Funding for manufacturers’ digital projects

Made Smarter Adoption North East provides SME manufacturers with impartial business growth and technology advice, and easy access to funding to support Industrial Digital Technology (IDT) investments.

It provides additional support so companies get the best out of those new technologies through leadership and skills training and digital interns to support skills gaps; providing hands on help for culture and change management.

The programme has a grant that can fund employment costs for businesses looking to take on a student (university at any level from undergraduate to PhD, or college-based) or recent graduate (college, or any form of university degree from a Bachelor’s to PhD, since 1 March 2020) to work on an IDT project.

What does the grant cover?

This grant is sufficient to cover all employment costs for a placement of 12 weeks, with the aim of successful applicant businesses completing a project within this time. For longer, more complex projects, the grant can fund the initial cost of the graduate or student’s employment.

How much grant is available?

The total grant available is £5,000 per business, and you would be expected to match fund this by contributing to the other costs involved in your project. Private sector match funding is preferred, but other sources of match funding can be considered, including other public sector grants.

Eligibility criteria

All applications for the Made Smarter North East Student and Graduate Internship Grant will be measured against the following selection criteria:

  • We will award five grants within the North East LEP area (two have now been awarded so three remain). This includes County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. There is a separate Tees Valley Combined Authority scheme for Teesside businesses.
  • You must be a manufacturing business.
  • Your business must be in one of the following sectors: automotive, pharma/chem, windpower/offshore, or have a significant customer base within these sectors.
  • Your intended project is to implement Industrial Digital Technology.

Please note: the grant is open for applications until midnight on 31 October 2021. However, to help businesses get their projects up and running fast, we will be appraising grant applications and making award decisions as they’re submitted. If we award all the grants before the end of October deadline, we may close the scheme early. So you are strongly advised to apply sooner rather than later.