Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL)

Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership is a prestigious innovation leadership programme addressing distinctive organisational and leadership challenges for innovation-led, knowledge-intensive businesses across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.‌

ERDF and MCIL logo This programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.

Through a fully-funded Innovation Leadership programme, business leaders and entrepreneurs can benefit from:

  • Six two-day sessions of facilitated group learning, led by academics and expert business leaders
  • A dedicated Entrepreneur in Residence to provide coaching, advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis
  • A unique blend of action learning, including one-to-one sessions, peer review, activity-based learning, creative challenge-based activity and self-directed learning
  • Development, implementation and a review of a practical, innovation-focussed action plan for your business
  • Access to the latest thinking around innovation and social value, specific masterclasses and a unique innovation eco-system.


The programme is open to the leaders of small to medium-sized businesses, early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial social innovators. These individuals must be looking to develop products and services, achieve scalable routes to market and achieve strategic business growth. Applicants must be an owner, director or employee of a registered business in the Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire area.


  • Dedicated time to focus on innovation and R&D as a strategic driver for your business growth
  • Apply world-leading research and knowledge on innovation leadership in order to produce a positive impact on your business’s bottom line
  • Access to the wide scientific and technological infrastructure of Recru it networ
  • Be part of a unique innovation network
  • Learn from fellow hand-picked entrepreneurs and social innovators


The programme is fully funded – the only cost is your time.


Cohort 1 (May-October 2017) - Complete

Cohort 2 (November 2017 - April 2018) - Complete

Cohort 3 (May-October 2018) - Complete


For more information on the opportunities available, please one of the Business Gateway team:


MCIL Expression of Interest form

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Leaflet - Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership

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Information sheet - Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership

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