Regional Innovation Ecosystems

The broader research agenda for WMREDI is to understand the relative impact of various interventions and investments for regional economic growth, sustainability and the reduction of social inequality in the West Midlands and the UK.

Projects in this research theme examine regional innovation ecosystems and the relationships between universities, local firms, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and knowledge exchange as contributors to different kinds of growth.

We know that strong regional innovation systems underpin stronger economic growth pathways, tend to be more competitive and resilient and tend to benefit both firms and local communities.

The aim is to track and compare different interventions or investments, as micro-level pathways to impact, which in aggregate produce macro-level growth patterns. We also study both commercial and non-commercial types of innovation, to understand the trade-offs between productivity growth and improvements in sustainability or inclusivity at the regional level. 

Demonstrating the benefits of the West Midlands Health Technology Innovation Accelerator

This project will unite key players across the region (universities, hospitals, industry and government-funded 'Catapults' for manufacturing innovation) to address these problems by creating a supportive environment to accelerate new technologies towards commercialisation and adoption.

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Evaluation of Midlands Advanced Ceramics for Industry

This project is in collaboration with SQW Ltd undertaking an evaluation of as part of University of Birmingham contribution to the Midlands Advanced Ceramics for Industry 4.0 programme.

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Midlands Smart Energy: Review and Future Possibilities

This report sets out the benefits to the Midlands Engine region from an accelerated shift to a smart energy system and why, with the right innovation and support mechanisms, this provides a net-benefit to energy consumers and businesses in the region and beyond.

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University Incubators

Led by Juliane Schwarz, this project focuses on the relative impact of university-based incubators in terms of contributing to different kinds of regional growth: employment, graduate retention, improving business capabilities, benefitting regional innovation systems, creating larger clusters and attracting investment.

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Universities' STEM Assets: Commercial & Non-Commercial Pathways & Aggregate Impacts

Led by Chloe Billing, this project examines major STEM assets, such as R&D centres, science parks or manufacturing technology development facilities which translate university R&D knowledge into real-world applications.

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University R&D linkages with firms and alignment with Local Industrial Strategy

Led by Fengjie Pan, this project looks at the alignment between university R&D strengths, regional firms and local industrial strategies to understand how better-alignment might stimulate better growth.

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