Innovation Nation, the white paper issued this month by Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), has revealed the government’s plans for innovation in the west midlands.
Science and technology are vital to the future development of the west midlands region and Birmingham Science City is undertaking exciting work to create and use new knowledge for economic growth and improvements in quality of life.
Birmingham Science City is building on the outstanding knowledge and capabilities of the region’s universities, developing strong relationships between industry. Higher education institutes across the region are growing a diverse industry base, building on research strengths, which in turn will support the attraction of the region as a place to develop new businesses and, in conjunction with new innovative approaches to the challenge, increase the retention of graduates in the region.
The Birmingham Science City partners are delivering a number of demonstrator focussed projects. These act as exemplars to stimulate broader collaboration and knowledge transfer between knowledge base institutions and industry. These include a collaborative research and knowledge transfer programme between Birmingham and Warwick Universities, funded by RDA Advantage West Midlands (AWM), focussed on advanced materials, translational medicine and energy.
The first major project is the Hydrogen Energy Project, where AWM’s investment of £6.2m contributes to a 10 year project that is already attracting investment from public and private partners. An example of a shorter term project is the Ocular Allergy Project run by Aston and Worcester Universities, which is investigating how allergies affect the eye.