Early Assessment of West Midlands Innovation Programme

As part of the WMREDI collaboration agreement City-REDI were commissioned by the WMCA to undertake an early assessment (evaluation) of the West Midlands Innovation Programme. 

The West Midlands Innovation Programme acts as an umbrella programme for a set of initiatives and innovations to support innovation in the region. Its origins can be traced back to the WMCA Innovation Working Group which was reconstituted as the West Midlands Innovation Board (WMIB) in 2019.

The programme’s aim is ‘to drive up levels of demand-led business innovation across all areas of the region’ by delivering:

  1. A stronger, more integrated innovation support offer to business leading to more innovation active businesses and productivity gains in supported businesses.
  2. Targeted support to business to access more national innovation funding.
  3. The expertise needed to target and deliver a large scale (£30m+) phased innovation programme, accurately targeted at firms and commercial areas to focus on for future calls.
  4. Proactive communication of innovation opportunities.


The Evaluation Lab

West Midland Combined Authority


Early Assessment (evaluation) of West Midlands Innovation Programme (WMIP) phase 1 to inform the business case and design of phase 2. By early assessment we mean:

  • Revisiting the rationale for WMIP to establish whether it stills holds true or needs refining. By rationale we mean both market, institutional and information failures identified that act as barriers to innovation and the wider strategic case. The output would be a more detailed and robust rationale that expands on generic statements in the business case such as `little joined-up support', `barriers to access finance', etc, drawing on the literature and consultations undertaken as part of this assessment.
  • Testing and elaboration, where necessary, of existing programme theory. This will involve testing existing assumptions set out in, and respecifying, the existing theory of change underpinning the programme design.
  • Assessment of the implementation of the programmes. This will take the form of a formative assessment and capture learning that can be used in design of phase 2. The outputs will be identification of learning, good practices, data allowing a better of what interventions may work best in different context.
  • Capturing early impacts of the programme for direct beneficiaries and the wider regional innovation support ecosystem.
  • Qualitative assessment of value for money based on delivery of intended activities and outcomes.

Information for Policy Makers

This evaluation will provide insights for design of policies to support regional innovation ecosystems.

Contact Details

Project lead contact details: 

Email George Bramley.

Publications and Reports

Early Assessment of West Midlands Innovation Programme

July 2022 - George Bramley, Alice Pugh, Hannes Reed, Annum Rafique, Carolin Ioramashvili, Kelvin Humphreys and Anne Green. 

WMREDI is funded by Research England and the WMREDI partnership

Return to the WMREDI Homepage Return to the Evaluation Lab