Aston praised for Advanced Services support to SMEs


30 June 2017

  • Advanced Services Group recognised in awards ceremony for their project ‘Transforming SMEs to improve their revenues through the adoption of advanced services’ 

Researchers in the Advanced Services Group at Aston University have been recognised for their work in transforming the business models of small to medium sized business to increase their revenues.

The project, called ‘Transforming SMEs to improve their revenues through the adoption of advanced services’ (or TRAN-SIP), was commended in the ‘Project of the Year’ category in the Impact Awards for Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) professionals, organised by PraxisUnico and supported by Research Councils UK.

TRAN-SIP set out to recruit 80 manufacturing SMEs in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region to engage them on a business support programme on servitization. Servitization is about manufacturers growing their revenues through services, not just one-off sales of products.

All support delivered by the university, and their delivery partners, under this project is free of charge to the manufacturing businesses that fit the criteria. The service included workshops and on-site support.

The black tie ceremony took place in Cutlers Hall, Sheffield in front of more than 250 invited guests from universities, research institutes, industry and government.

A strong and diverse range of projects were nominated for the awards, showcasing how UK KEC teams work with their academic colleagues to help turn investments in research into real-life economic and social impact. This includes supporting relationships between businesses and, increasingly, charities and the not-for-profit sector.

Iain McKechnie, Director of Strategic Programmes in the Advanced Services Group at Aston University, said: “This is a very positive recognition of the work we are carrying out in relation to servitization and advanced services, and I would like to thank everyone who helped us achieve this and, in particular, the SMEs that have participated in our TRAN-SIP project to date.”

Maxine Ficarra, Executive Director of PraxisUnico, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of the PraxisUnico RCUK Impact Awards. They, and all of the finalists, should all be immensely proud of their achievements and contributions. It is great to see so many innovative approaches to knowledge exchange and commercialisation, enabling UK research to deliver impact in so many diverse ways. This work is vital in ensuring that the UK remains competitive, innovative, and able to sustain economic growth.”


Notes to the editor

About the Advanced Services Group

  • The Advanced Services Group is a centre of excellence at Aston Business School, Aston University in the UK. We provide education, training, research and a global network of like-minded professionals around advanced services and servitization. We help global manufacturers and technology innovators to develop services-led strategies.

About Aston University

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston held a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey. 

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