As the Government unveils its Midlands Engine strategy to boost jobs and growth in the region, the six research-intensive Universities involved in the project welcome the continued commitment to developing world-class centres of excellence.

Sir David Greenaway, Chair of Midlands Innovation and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham commented: “We welcome the launch of the Government’s ambitious strategy for the Midlands Engine. The Midlands is the UK’s manufacturing powerhouse, has unique strengths and real potential to achieve more. The strategy clearly recognises this. As the research engine of the region, Midlands Innovation Universities will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of the Midlands Engine strategy.”

Midlands Innovation pools the collective excellence of Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick universities in the Midlands to power growth across the region. It led on the delivery of one of the first Science and Innovation Audits for the region, which has now been adopted by the Midlands Engine’s Innovation group.

The partnership is already making a difference, helping to create world-class centres of excellence – one such example is the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which brings together Midlands Innovation and the British Geological Survey in a cross-disciplinary hub of technology research and energy talent in the Midlands. In addition, it is working with Government and leading industrial partners from across the region on a major new transport technology initiative. In partnership with business, the Transport Innovation Accelerator will build on the historical strengths of the Midlands to create a national hub for transport innovation. This will act as a global beacon of excellence for technology companies with export potential, attracting talent and inward investment in the UK.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: “University of Birmingham research is playing an integral role in Midlands Innovation flagship initiatives such as the Energy Research Accelerator, Manufacturing Technology Centre, and Midlands Physics Alliance. World-class science and innovation provide incredibly strong foundations upon which partners can work together to boost economic growth in the region.”

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  1. Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of six leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.
  2. For the Energy Research Accelerator, the government has committed an initial capital investment of £60m (delivered through Innovate UK), and ERA has secured private sector co-investment of £120m for the first tranche of its work. This initial investment is expected to generate a return of £323m.