Regional project involvement

BCRRE supports collaboration and enterprise activity from the local area, regionally and nationally. Our state-of-the-art equipment and facilities allow us to take an SMEs idea and transform it into a product or service underpinned by the knowledge and skill of our experts.

Innovate 4 Rail

The project is a three year collaboration between the University of Derby, University of Birmingham and Rail Forum Midlands funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Innovate 4 Rail project logoInnovate 4 Rail provides practical support across a range of technologies to develop new products and solutions for the rail industry through supported access to facilities at the Universities of Derby and Birmingham, available to SME's within the D2N2 areas, terms and conditions apply.

The project provides:

  • A regular programme of sector focussed events and workshops to raise SMEs’ awareness and capacity for innovation within rail including specialist input on understanding the commercial opportunities in rail and the market requirements.
  • 1:1 diagnostic and advice including assessment of suitability for rail and scoping of potential new products, services or processes that could benefit from further project support.
  • SMEs with a scoped project will be supported through a collaborative research and innovation project involving technical and academic support from both University partners.
  • This will include access to state-of-the-art laboratories with purpose- built test rigs for true railway simulation, converting test data into information about performance, safety and durability. The project will also enable D2N2 SME access, where appropriate, to a real railway environment at an outdoor test facility (e.g., Quinton Rail Testing Centre (QRTC) for live track testing). Both University partners will participate in this element.

For further information please visit the Innovate 4 Rail website.

West Midlands Innovation Programme

The Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands is an alliance of organisations active or interested in science and technology-based innovation across the West Midlands.

Innovation Alliance West Midlands logo

We at BCRRE are part of the virtual innovation team, including business facing innovation experts hosted by a range of regional cluster/ sector bodies. Between us we support businesses in all the sectors and major market opportunities of the WM Local Industrial Strategy to recover and grow through innovation.

WMIP focuses on 5 areas of action in support of the WM Local Industrial Strategy (pdf) and Recovery Plans, namely:

  • Networks and Linkages
  • Investment Programmes
  • Innovation Talent
  • Intelligence on future trends
  • Innovation Culture

The West Midlands Innovation Programme (WMIP) aims to drive up levels of demand-led business innovation across all areas of the region, by delivering a stronger, more integrated innovation support offer to business and providing targeted support to business to access more national innovation funding.

West Midlands Innovation Programme website

GBS Growth Hub

We work closely with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull (GBS) Growth Hub. We are currently supporting a project that focuses on cross disciplinary initiative that supports SMEs in the GBS area by providing a comprehensive range of online business information, advice and guidance and details of local and national business support programmes through a single point of contact for all business-related enquiries.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Growth Hub logoThe initiative is set out to Improve the competitiveness, and productivity and growth of SMEs leading to the creation of enhanced levels of new jobs and investment stimulating a balanced and thriving economy.

For further information, plesse visit the GBS Growth Hub website or email Rachel Eade at