Aston recognised for innovation and enterprise

Aston Campus

4 March 2014

Aston University has reached the finals of two awards, recognised in both the Innovation and Enterprise categories  at the Midlands Business Awards 2014.

Aston was nominated in the Enterprise category for its range of entrepreneurship initiatives such as the BSEEN programme, which offers students and graduates a package of intensive start-up support for their new ventures. Aston also works in partnership with charities such as UnLtd to support social entrepreneurs and leads on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, which helps small business owners expand their businesses through tailor-made support services.

The Innovation category recognised Aston’s world-class research into bioenergy at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), which is producing fundamental research into the deployment of innovative technologies that is capable of transforming organic waste into forms of renewable heat and energy.

Dr Phil Extance said: “At Aston, we pride ourselves on being a great university for enterprise and pride ourselves on our innovative research, so we are delighted to receive such praise from the judges and to be nominated for these awards.”

At Aston, we pride ourselves on being a great university for enterprise and pride ourselves on our innovative research

Mike Bandar, an entrepreneur helped by the BSEEN programme, added: “Aston University is a real hub for enterprise and has helped me develop the technical, professional and transferable skills I needed to start three companies. The support I have received has proved invaluable and it is great to see that enterprising students are continuing to benefit from this support.”

The Midlands Business Awards is a major event in the business calendar, and provides a platform for industries to celebrate their success stories throughout the region.

For further media information please contact, Elizabeth Rogers, [email protected]on 0121 204 5486

Click here to find out more about how Aston supports enterprise or email  [email protected]

For more information about EBRI, visit  

Notes to editors:

The BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) scheme offers students and graduates a great package of intensive start-up support for new ventures and is based at Birmingham Science Park Aston. BSEEN, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is a collaborative initiative between Aston University, University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.

Aston University works closely with  UnLtd, a charity with a long history of supporting social/community enterprises, to help staff, students and recent graduates with an idea that will create positive social impact get up and running. The programme works to provide support for the individuals to develop plans, gain access to a range of specialist advisers, and financial support of varying sizes.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses  in the UK is an initiative to unlock the growth and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises across the United Kingdom through providing the resources they need to grow, including greater access to business education and business support services. It is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that a combination of education and support services best addresses the barriers to growth for small businesses.