What we offer

MidEx offers an extension of what organisations can do independently by providing access to knowledge and specialist expertise at the University of Birmingham and the wider MidEx community.

We aim to transfer knowledge in a commercial way that generates tangible benefits to organisations we work with. There are three principal resources we offer:

  1. Student consultancy: sponsored placements for postgraduate-level educated students.
  2. Research collaboration: through industrial placements and applied research in small or large projects.
  3. MidEx community: through on-going partnerships and collaborations a strong network of practitioners, academics and graduate students is being developed.

Research and researchers

In addition to building upon the unrivalled knowledge and expertise of established academics in the College of Social Sciences, MidEx is committed to increasing the number of very high quality researchers in this area and conducting new research within Midlands’s organisations. This enables us to understand the latest principles of excellence and ensure that they are widely, effectively and practically applied for the benefit of all.

MidEx has three inter-related research projects that are based on developing an understanding of the regional economy and the competitiveness of businesses within it. If you are interested in further details or to be involved in the research projects please get in touch with the individual researchers.

Research Projects

West Midlands Regional Economy: Enhancing Development and Managing Risk for a Sustainable Future

To drive improvement and excellence across sectors requires an understanding of how the regional economy works, the inter-relationship of sectors in the region and how best practice can be most effectively disseminated through the regional economy and beyond. There are three research questions which will be investigated during this study:

  1. What is the developing structure of the regional economy?
  2. Where are the enablers, barriers and blockages to business excellence?
  3. What are suitable interventions and how can these be implemented?

The project focusses on energy management in the industrial sector and will engage with a range of Midlands businesses to explore leading approaches to increasing efficiency and reducing risk.

Productivity Enhancement in the Manufacturing Sector

Amir Qamar, Doctoral Researcher
e - a.qamar@pgr.bham.ac.uk

Amir's research focuses on quality and excellence within the private manufacturing sector in the West Midlands. He is currently investigating factors such as Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-In-Time (JIT), Kaizen methods and technological progress in terms of achieving greater productivity. This research will primarily consist of quantitative data, but qualitative data will also be used to validate his findings.

Amir is developing an understanding of how lean principles can be applied to all aspects of the manufacturing firm in order to increase productivity. The research will be used to give assistance to manufacturing firms within the West Midlands.

Commoditisation and Value Attainment in Business and Professional Service Firms

Emma Gardner, Doctoral Researcher
e - ECG867@bham.ac.uk

Emma’s research focuses on commoditisation and value attainment in business and professional service firms with the West Midlands under the supervision of Professor John Bryson and Dr Rachel Mulhall. She is in receipt the Midlands Excellence PhD Scholarship.

Increasing competition in the service sector has resulted in growing price-based competition and as firms undercut prices to attract customers, industries are becoming increasingly commoditized. Emma is looking at how firms are changing their business models and value propositions in order to resist commoditization and how they are differentiating themselves from competitors through service quality.

Student and graduate consultancy

Student and graduate consultancy offers organisations the opportunity to access current academic thinking and work with an early career professional to develop a strategic objective.

MidEx can provide bursaries to a select number of students or recent graduates each year who have illustrated excellence in their time at the University of Birmingham and can provide expertise in organisational improvement.

We are interested in facilitating the transition of University of Birmingham graduates into the workplace and keen to hear from either students or organisations if they feel they can benefit from the scheme.