Celebrating partnerships with business

Posted on Tuesday 17th June 2014
Vice-Chancellor speech at Business Networking event

In recognition of the positive impact of University of Birmingham’s partnerships with business Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, hosted an evening reception at his private residence to celebrate the University of Birmingham’s successful business partnerships and emphasise the University’s crucial role in supporting business growth in the region.

Now in its third year, the evening attracted over 130 senior business executives and entrepreneurial academics, and provided informal networking to make new introductions, build on existing partnerships, and highlight the successes of working together. The University has, for example, engaged over 600 high-growth SMEs in more than 1000 projects and helped industry bid for approximately £20million collaborative funding since 2013. The University’s Business Club has also welcomed over 100 SME business members since its launch in late 2013.

The event was also an opportunity for the University to demonstrate its translational research strengths. Research themes included transport technologies, medicine, and sustainable energy.

In his opening address, Sir David highlighted the considerable investment in facilities that will transform the University’s famous Edgbaston campus for the benefit of students, staff, and the wider community. Among those plans is a brand new, fully-serviced, biomedical laboratory based on Birmingham Research Park designed to provide young biomedical and health-related start-ups with access to affordable laboratory facilities and equipment.

In addition, he spoke passionately about the University of Birmingham Training School that will open in 2015. A fully comprehensive secondary school, the curriculum will focus on science and technology, and will integrate businesses and academics across subject areas and at all key stages. 

Commenting on the importance of collaboration between the University and Industry, Sir David said, Tonight we are celebrating our partners and our partnerships, and businesses provide some of our most exciting scientific challenges. The solutions help businesses to flourish. These partnerships take time to develop, but they are very rewarding and often great fun.”

Vice-Chancellor speech at Business Networking event

In the year that the University welcomes the British Science Festival back to Birmingham it has much to celebrate. The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide named it ‘University of the Year’ for 2013-2014 in recognition of recent outstanding achievements. Last month the Birmingham Business School joined just a handful of the world’s business schools that hold the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation - from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). Earlier in June, Birmingham Business School was also awarded the Small Business Charter Silver Award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise.

During the evening visitors were treated to a display of intelligent robots developed in the School of Computer Science and led by guest speaker Dr Nick Hawes. A really fascinating insight into the practical and real-world application of the cutting edge in robotics, one of the robots was taking drinks orders and serving them to the guests. While the robots were of course great fun they represented just one example of how the University is nurturing the development of research that has commercial application.

The University of Birmingham is open for business and continues to enhance its reputation as an engaged University internationally, working with global industry players. If you are interested in working with The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2013-14, contact our Business Engagement Team on +44 (0)121 414 8635.

For an image request and further information contact: Tim Yates, Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Birmingham, on +44 (0)121 414 8635.