ERIP objectives

Aim of the project

Historically a high-cost area,the NSR has maintained a reputation for manufacturing excellence which is key to a competitive knowledge-based economy. However,it is essential that the NSR sustains & develops businesses & innovative productivity within this key economic sector.

Designed & developed by a multi-level governance & sectoral transnational team, the overall vision of ERIP is to increase innovative capacity & competitiveness of manufacturing industry in the NSR through the following central aims:

1. Create a robust network structure involving industry, public sector business support agencies,centres of excel-lence,universities & 6 new IPCs as an interface with the capacity to deliver long-term sustainable change. This in-cludes increased employment in high-value added manufacturing,improved high-level skills in lean/agile & a re-duction in the flow of manufacturing jobs to LCEs.

2. Innovative manufacturing & production techniques/practices (e.g. lean/agile processes) do not simply have po-tential to reduce manufacturing costs. In the context of domestic(European)markets 'agility' is particularly rele-vant. Hence,the project will not just increase productivity capacity but also improve innovative capability across the NSR.

3. To test and validate a 'methodology' (based on transnational best practice) using 24 SME testers. The meth-odology will be delivered by testers to regional IPCs and designed to ensure that where applied,it has the capabil-ity to help manufacturing companies (particularly SMEs <150 staff) and to embrace change from the 'shop floor' to management.

4. An integral part of the methodology development will be its joint evaluation & refinement by project partners to produce a coherent approach & methodology for boosting innovative productivity (the application of lean/agile techniques and processes) in SMEs that is transferable across the NSR.

These aims of ERIP reflect both the strategic & implementation level ambitions of the project.

Main Objectives:

- Create a transnational implementation framework capable of boosting the application of innovative productivity techniques and practices (e.g. lean/agile best practice) by SMEs in the NSR

- Increase the competitiveness of NSR manufacturing against global competition by tackling the 'productivity gap' by supporting the long-term retention of high-value manufacturing employment

- Stimulate & develop new SME knowledge transfer to ensure tools and techniques are embedded in company structures and culture

- Joint testing & implementation of a lean change methodology across the triple helix partnership structure of ERIP via WP 2-6 to deliver a final common transferable NSR product


- Transfer base methodology from the NEPA programme in North East England together with the methods, mod-els & best practices to ERIP partner regions across the NSR and beyond

- Collate & refine 'best practice' innovative productivity techniques & practices (i.e. the lean/agile approaches and processes) for application in manufacturing SMEs and develop change methodology for delivery by IPCs to sup-port SME adoption

- Use 24 SME 'testers' to trial the training programme & fully participate in its evaluation and refine development (particularly small/micro businesses)

- Strengthen & promote transnational cooperation between IPCs/exemplar companies/SMEs

- Formalise mechanisms for sharing expertise across diverse range of companies & systems in transnational manufacturing clusters

- Develop 6 networked IPCs to encourage & facilitate manufacturing process innovation & act as focal point for technology transfer which will also cascade & embed lean manufacturing knowledge across partner regions

- Develop skills & knowledge within NSR companies through transnational interaction via100 inter-(tester) com-pany staff transfers

- Embed leading lean/agile concepts across mainstream training provision (e.g. NSR Universities) at inter/intra company levels