Tees Valley Business Challenge

Tees Valley Business Challenge is connecting large organisations with local solution developers to solve priority industry cluster challenges.


The Tees Valley Business Challenge is delivering  new products and services for large organisations' challenges by supporting Tees Valley small businesses and social enterprises to develop solutions.

Project aims

Strengthening innovation maturity in the Tees Valley economy
Build resilience for post-Covid economic recovery
Unlock growth potential

The solution developers

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The project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and innovative approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Tees Valley Business Challenge is being delivered in partnership with Tees Valley Combined Authority by Edge Innovation, working with RTC North, AHSN-NENC, Dynamo, NEPIC, VONNE and Teesside University.


Empowering VCSEs through meaningful connection with the private sector

Access this challenge
Watch the video briefing

Connecting large commercial organisations with voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) to develop innovative opportunities for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve volunteering, engagement and VCSE development.


Product design with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust

This project is now closed but please email us if you would like further details of future projects.

We are looking for a product designer or manufacturer to design a new trolley allowing discreet transfer of deceased people which negates the anxiety that is typically associated with death.


Process and Manufacturing with P&G: A factory's first step toward NetZero

This project is now closed but please email us if you would like further details of future projects.

We are looking for products and services that will help P&G’s R&D centre take the first steps on their decarbonisation journey by supporting the reduction of carbon emissions from existing gas boilers, through innovative engineering solutions.


Social Enterprise with NEA: Using the global crisis to catalyse social innovation

This project is now closed but please email us if you would like further details of future projects.

In the context of ongoing energy and climate crises, we are looking for products and services that can tackle fuel poverty, kickstart fair and equitable pathways to decarbonise homes, and improve health and wellbeing in the communities of Tees Valley.


Digital Transformation with AV Dawson: Empowering action through data

This project is now closed but please email us if you would like further details of future projects.

We are looking for products and services that will bring together and visualise multimodal logistics data sources to empower AV Dawson to generate business reports which can aid objective decision making.


Wellbeing Challenge with St John Ambulance: Wellbeing for all in the workplace

This project is now closed but please email us if you would like further details of future projects.

We are looking for products and services that will support employers to become more aware of the benefits of good mental health within the workplace to focus on prevention rather than the response to mental health incidents.


Frequently asked questions

How do we apply?

Access the online application form at the bottom of this page.

How do you handle IP?

Stage 1

Any disclosure of IP is removed by Edge Innovation ahead of assessment from the assessment panel.

Stage 2

Both parties, Challenge Holder and Solution Developer, will be asked to sign confidentiality agreements for the stage 2 selection panel.

Following stage 2 selection, if a suitable solution to the challenge is developed by the Solution Developer, then the parties discuss future commercialisation arrangements.

How do you decide which small and medium organisation will progress?

Across both stages the challenge holder, programme director and industry specialist will make a decision on your application.

At stage 1
Assessments will be scored on the capacity and capability of the Solution Developer to develop a solution to the problem. The questions you will be asked are as follows:

  • Who is the team responding and what experience do they have in relation to the challenge?
  • What approach would the team adopt in order to come up with a solution?
  • What impact do you think your involvement in the project will achieve?
  • How would you use the £5,000 grant money?

At stage 2
Assessments will scored against Challenge Holders key criteria, as detailed below.

  • What is your proposed solution (product or service) and how does your solution respond to the challenge?
  • What is your team's expertise in this area?
  • What stage of development are you at?
  • Do they have the capacity in place to deliver?
  • Is their solution achievable in the timeframe?
  • What do they need to do next
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