Dawn Huntrod has been appointed as business development manager for the SME Technology Centre at the Materials Processing Institute.
Dawn, who previously worked for Redcar and Cleveland Council’s enterprise team, will have a wide range of responsibilities including networking locally and nationally, running workshops and engagement events within MPI and looking at business development.
Her appointment is viewed by the Institute as the first part of launching the new SME Technology Centre, which will support clients ranging from pre start-ups to established SMEs to develop, commercialise and improve their technologies, while also providing an integrated business support package, and guiding clients to funding and finance.
The centre will be boosted next April by the opening of a new complex which will house up to 15 SMEs. This has been funded by part of a £3m Local Growth Fund grant from Tees Valley Unlimited.
The business units will be occupied by SMEs which work hand-in-hand with the Institute, with the long-term plan to help the fledgling firms grow before they move on and are replaced by new SMEs.
Dawn said: “I had been working with the enterprise team within Redcar and Cleveland Council where I was employed specifically to work on a European Regional Development Fund project.
“When that contract came to an end, I was lucky enough to hear about this opportunity within the Materials Processing Institute and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to get on board at such an exciting time for the organisation.
“Business development and working closely with SMEs is something which I have a great deal of experience in, and this new SME Technology Centre is an excellent vehicle to help deliver that.
“Away from that, another key part of my role will be speaking to Local Enterprise partnerships and local authorities to continue to spread the word about who we are and what we do to support business in the region.”
Dawn reports directly to Dr Gerard Stephens, director of the SME Technology Centre, after taking on her role in early November.
Dr Stephens added: “We see Dawn’s appointment as the first part of the launch of the SME Technology Centre.
“We have big plans to help SMEs in the region and beyond, and we are now in a good position to do that now that Dawn has joined the Centre.
“We have the technical services within the centre and the relevant staff on site to enable us to work alongside new and established SMEs and we look forward to Dawn leading that as she settles into her new role.”