The £3.2 million Innovation Engine project – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – has been given the go-ahead. The initiative will identify health, sustainability and transport challenges of larger organisations and build local SME and university consortia to develop and deliver solutions.
This three-year initiative is being led by Innovation Birmingham in partnership with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC), University Hospitals Foundation Trust (UHB); Birmingham City University; University of Birmingham; Amey and West Midlands Combined Authority.
The Innovation Engine builds on the previous project initiated by Birmingham Science City; designed to bring together a team of delivery partners who will uncover challenges in large public and private organisations and drive the development of highly innovative solutions from specialist local SME firms and universities. It will also showcase new technology and present game-changing opportunities to innovative businesses and university departments.
Over a three-year period, the project will assist at least 250 SMEs located within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) economic area, in creating new products and services, to fulfil the specific challenges larger public and private organisations wish to overcome; so promoting demand-led exploitation of new ideas and technologies and open new market opportunities.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “With the wealth of skills and knowledge available in the GBSLEP area, the Innovation Engine project will help innovative new businesses by enabling them to create lasting connections with notable business people and the local universities. This will support and enable entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop their ideas and will, ultimately, encourage local growth by strengthening partnerships and so reinforce the region’s reputation for excellence in business and innovation.”
Businesses accepted onto the project will also gain access to the Innovation Birmingham Campus’ 400-strong community of tech and digital entrepreneurs as well as to innovation-specific workshops, guides and facilitated introductions.
Hugo Russell, Project Manager at Innovation Birmingham and the lead for the Innovation Engine project said: “Inspired by the results from the pilot Innovation Engine and Creative Digital Health Solutions (CDHS) projects, the Innovation Engine project will encourage the adoption of new innovations which have the potential to make profound change to existing markets and the exchange of ideas and technologies between sectors. Our six delivery partners are a vital asset to this project as we aim to stimulate new markets and economic growth.”
For additional information on Innovation Engine, please visit: www.innovation-engine.co.uk.