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The Channel Innovation Network (CHAIN) is a project part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which aims to bring together business development agencies to create a network of business centres, incubators, business hubs and science parks in France and England, with the objective of improving mutual knowledge and understanding.

Key Activities

  • Exchange and review business support and start up support initiatives
  • Review funding support for businesses
  • Understand the types of business support services offered
  • Exchange best practices regarding the operational management of the business centres
  • Organise thematic meetings to improve and share knowledge about each area
  • Develop a shared methodology to identify companies who may be interested I working together

Natural Enterprise are part of the CHAIN project in their capacity as managers of the Innovation Centre which was set up to support young start-up businesses and has been extremely successful working with more than 45 companies.

The CHAIN project is seen as an excellent opportunity to help us learn best practice methods to share with Isle of Wight companies. It is also giving us an insight in to sectors in other regions not only in the UK but also in Northern France and our ultimate aim is to encourage business opportunities and develop trading links.

In September, the Isle of Wight will be hosting a visit of CHAIN delegates from the South West, South East, Brittany and Normandy. Any businesses looking to establish or develop their trade links with Normandy, Brittany or the South West of England who would like to find out more about the programme should contact Graham Biss at on 201562 or email