WM universities unite to discuss region’s economy


13 September 2018

  • Six West Midlands universities, including Aston, to work together at leading business forum
  • More than 300 delegates, from over 140 companies have been confirmed for the event

For the first time, Aston University will join five of the region’s universities at the West Midlands Forum for Growth to showcase how they are accelerating change through their expertise, innovation and research.

The West Midlands Forum for Growth is a one day event (18 September 2018, The Vox Centre, Birmingham) attracting professionals from the private and public sector to engage and debate the key issues in the growing West Midlands economy.

The theme for the event this year is ‘The UK’s New Growth Capital’ and the universities are collaborating to demonstrate how individually and collectively, they make vital contribution to this growth, offering leadership and game changing research in specialist fields.

Academics from six universities (Aston University, Coventry University, Birmingham City University, University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and University of Wolverhampton) will be exhibiting and delivering breakout sessions that focus on the West Midlands Combined Authority’s key growth sectors, advanced technologies and world class expertise, to include:

  • High-Tech Medical Devices and Intelligent Healthcare
  • Innovative Vehicle Design and Technologies
  • Brownfield Regeneration and Clean Growth
  • Human-Computer Interaction, Mixed Reality, and Robotics

More than 300 delegates, from over 140 companies have been confirmed for the event, which runs from 08:00am – 06:00pm. A number of subjects are to be discussed throughout the day, including: infrastructure (HS2 and the interconnected transport network), industry, regeneration, skills, place making and homes.

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said: “Aston University clearly defines businesses and the region as two key beneficiaries whom we exist to serve. 

“Collaboration with our neighbouring universities through the West Midlands Forum For Growth is one way in which we make a significant impact in the West Midlands, bringing expertise in innovation and fostering an appetite for regional growth and development. 

“Through this we will contribute in a powerful way to ensuring our region embraces the opportunities ahead.”

Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director at the West Midlands Growth Company said: “West Midlands Forum for Growth is an important event, it is a chance for major players in the public and private sector to get together to discuss ideas, find solutions to issues and plan for the future.

“The event will allow participants to see and find out about the cutting edge innovation of our universities.  Again and again they are evidencing their ability to work effectively with business which is crucial to attracting investment in our region.

“To have them come together like this will clearly demonstrate their collective strength to accelerate the growth of the West Midlands.”

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands said:

“The sense of opportunity in the West Midlands is greater than ever and the West Midlands Forum for Growth is designed to capitalise on these opportunities.

“The West Midlands has seen impressive growth in the number of start-up companies in the region with more and more ambitious businesses choosing to locate here, therefore it is important that we have a highly skilled talent pool to choose from.

“The West Midlands universities ensure that this talent pool is available and the collaboration will help them all to challenge the status quo and ignite ideas making them a powerful force.”

For more information on the event visit: www.westmidlandsforumforgrowth.co.uk


Notes to the editor

Photos (click links to download)


Universities in the West Midlands

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) is working with six of the region’s largest universities:

  • Aston University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Coventry University
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Wolverhampton

WMGC and the universities work together to promote the six institutions’ research strengths, business services, and graduate talent as a central part of the region’s offer to prospective investors. As part of its business support to organisations investing in or relocating to the West Midlands, WMGC can connect them to the universities’ academic expertise, talent pool, and training resources.

The universities make a vital contribution to the region with an impact and influence that is felt globally. The universities boast world-leading research in a broad range of areas; most notably the following key sectors:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Materials
  • Life Sciences
  • Business, Professional & Financial Services
  • Creative
  • Gamesand AI

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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