Midlands Innovation welcomes Midlands Engine

Midlands innovation

10 March 2017

  • The Midlands Innovation group of universities – which includes Aston – welcomes the publication of the Midlands Engine strategy
  • The Midlands Innovation group is a world-class research and industry partnership
  • The group will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of the strategy

Sir David Greenaway, Chair of Midlands Innovation and Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham commented: “We welcome the launch of the Government’s ambitious strategy for the Midlands Engine. The Midlands is the UK’s manufacturing powerhouse, has unique strengths and real potential to achieve more. The strategy clearly recognises this. As the research engine of the region, Midlands Innovation universities will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of the Midlands Engine strategy.”

Midlands Innovation pools the collective excellence of universities in the Midlands to power growth across the region. We led the delivery of one of the first Science and Innovation Audits for the region and are delighted that it has been adopted by the Midlands Engine’s Innovation group.

Our partnership is already making a difference, helping create world-class centres of excellence – one such example is the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) bringing together Midlands Innovation and the British Geological Survey in a cross-disciplinary hub of technology research and energy talent in the Midlands. In addition we are working with Government and leading industrial partners from across the region on a major new transport technology initiative. In partnership with business, the Transport Innovation Accelerator will build on the historical strengths of the Midlands to create a national hub for transport innovation. This will act as a global beacon of excellence for technology companies with export potential, attracting talent and inward investment in the UK. 

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice Chancellor of Aston University, Birmingham added:

“At Aston University, the work of Midlands Innovation in partnering with the Midlands Engine has been focussed on developing growth opportunities through bioenergy, energy systems and bioproducts, engaging with small and medium businesses and the regional economy, led by Aston’s European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI).”


Notes to the editor

  • Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of six leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.
  • For the Energy Research Accelerator, the government has committed an initial capital investment of £60m (delivered through Innovate UK), and ERA has secured private sector co-investment of £120m for the first tranche of its work. This initial investment in itself is expected to generate a return of £323m.
  • EBRI’s capabilities cover the breadth of advanced thermal technologies and biological conversion processes. These include gasification, pyrolysis, catalysis, and the thermochemical refining of biomass, wastes and plastics to high quality products and fuels. Allied to this is EBRI’s expertise in energy systems, supply chains, techno-economic analysis, transport logistics, analytics, engines and power systems. The institute welcomes collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry both locally and internationally and actively bids for new research and industrial engagement projects to bring further benefits to the Midlands region. For more information go to www.aston.ac.uk/ebri or email [email protected].
  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For more than 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston recently 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. www.aston.ac.uk/50

For more information, call Ben Kennedy, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 4592 or email [email protected]

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