In early November, the University of Birmingham was the Higher Education sponsor for the Confederation of British Industry’s Annual Conference 2017. In advance of this we set about creating a campaign that would underpin our presence at the conference and show the breadth of the University’s experience of partnering with industry.
Following extensive consultation across the University, we devised a campaign entitled ’10 ways we’re transforming industry’ which highlights the impact of our collaborations with industry across each of our five academic colleges.
Since its inception in 1900, the University of Birmingham has always worked with industry and pioneered approaches to transform business. Established as the UK’s first civic university, our founder, Joseph Chamberlain, recognised the importance of university-business collaboration to drive society and the economy, share resources and knowledge, and make important things happen.
We’ve built on this tradition: from the establishment of the UK’s first business school, through to the eleven alumni and staff who have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their research.
We wanted the ’10 Ways’ campaign to be comprised of robust, tangible and productive collaborations that are having a direct impact on the way business operates. Below is a list of the 10 ways we’re transforming business:
1. We’re making business responsible
Birmingham Business School and Lloyds Banking Group have partnered to establish a £2.5 million research centre, to focus on informing and shaping the development of responsible business practice for the banking sector and beyond.
2. We’re transforming perceptions
The Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) is working with policy makers and influential organisations to transform the perceptions of ethnic minority businesses who contribute an estimated £32 billion to the UK economy annually.
3. We’re revolutionising UK rail
As the leading University in a £92m funded research programme, we are at the forefront of revolutionising the UK rail infrastructure and systems. Our Digital Systems Innovation Centre will work hand-in-hand with industry to bring about dramatic transformations to our country’s rail capabilities.
4. We’re global leaders in clinical trials and healthcare systems
The University of Birmingham possess world-class clinical trials capabilities that help to bring lifesaving medicines and techniques to market. We have the most complete life science ecosystem in Europe. Our facilities support every stage of the innovation cycle, including a new Life Sciences Park that will harness our world-leading academic and clinical strengths. Our transformative improvements to healthcare are driven by harnessing big data and scientific knowledge to deliver clinical innovation.
5. We’re accelerating innovation in cold chain systems
The Birmingham Energy Institute is at the heart of a multi-million pound transformative programme bringing together academia and industry to develop the energy technologies and systems of the future. Our work on cold chain systems has been piloted with national companies and is aiming to make storage and transportation greener and more efficient.
6. We’re using quantum technology to reduce risk for business
Our Quantum Technology Hub are working on projects that will reduce risk for businesses: from sensing buried infrastructure on large-scale construction projects, which reduces the need for extensive roadworks; through to providing precise timing on financial market transactions. The wide application of the Quantum Technology Hub’s work will deliver new economic and business value chains.
7. We’re making air travel greener
Our High Temperature Research Centre, a £60m collaboration with Rolls-Royce, is developing aero engines of the future. The Centre will become a national focus point for advanced manufacturing and systems simulation.
8. We’re developing robotics for extreme environments
The Birmingham Extreme Robotics Lab is Europe’s leading university lab dedicated to nuclear and other extreme environment applications of advanced robotics and AI. The group work with government and industry to create safer, smarter, more efficient working environments and have recently been awarded £11m EPSRC/ISCF funding to deliver a National Centre for Nuclear Robotics.
9. We’re transforming productivity to create the future workforce
The University is working with businesses to maximise the degree apprenticeship levy and create a productive and innovative workforce. With a focus on solving real-world issues, our graduate programmes respond to the pressing needs of business and requirement for both practical and theoretical skills.
10. We are shaping the future for creative industries
The University is working with private, public and policy organisations and stakeholders to create new R&D relationships between the creative industries and the higher education sector that will positively influence productivity and economic growth.
Response to the ’10 Ways’ campaign at both the conference and internally was incredibly positive and for the Business with Birmingham team it was a great opportunity to take stock of the University’s vast portfolio of transformative research.
By Gurmit Kler, Director of Business Engagement, University of Birmingham