IAWM Calls to Action! We need your help…

We’re on a mission to build a stronger innovation culture in the West Midlands…we need your help.

As part of the West Midlands Innovation Programme the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands (IAWM) is working on improving innovation culture across the region and we need your help.

We are calling on our networks to help with three priority actions: 

  • SME survey for MIT REAP
  • Innovation Tracker Case Studies
  • User testing The Grid (virtual platform)


In order to develop and strengthen the West Midlands innovation ecosystem we need an evidence-based, practical approach to support innovation activity in the region post-COVID-19. We are participating in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program in the UK (MIT REAP-UK). The aim of this program is to help shape the opportunities available to help businesses grow and develop after the COVID-19 crisis, and especially to accelerate innovation-driven entrepreneurship in our region.

CALL TO ACTION: To support this research we are asking SMEs to help out by answering this survey. Please can all our stakeholders share with your SME contacts. The deadline for responses is 7th August 2020.

Find out more about MIT REAP here.

Innovation Tracker Case Studies:

Throughout the pandemic, IAWM has been collecting examples from innovative organisations of how they have survived, adapted and innovated during the current crisis. There are copious inspiring examples of companies who have responded to the various calls to action to help create and deliver PPE for the NHS, offered mental health services and support for free, created a brand-new product in response to the lockdown and seamlessly relocated online and embraced the world of digital. You can find a list of these examples here. 

Reading these motivating examples of innovation inspired us to expand our Innovation Tracker to showcase all innovative organisations in the West Midlands. We are now picking up case studies from a variety of businesses – from SMEs to Accelerators – who have created an innovative product, successfully pivoted in response to the crisis, or simply used innovation to improve their service.

CALL TO ACTION: If you are or know an organisation in the West Midlands to feature on our Innovation Tracker, email iawmcomms@gmail.com to find out more.

The Grid:

The Grid is a virtual platform created and funded by an alliance of West Midlands organisations to support our regional innovation ecosystem. The platform is currently at MVP stage and now needs to be tested by stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. Once fully developed aims to:

  • Create a central online community for SMEs to share experiences and guidance
  • Enable local government to gain reach and understanding of start-ups in the region
  • Make it easier for large organisations to tap into the SME pool to help drive innovation
  • Overcome limitations of physical incubators and co-working spaces, post COVID-19
  • Reduce the noise for entrepreneurs to better access the innovation support programmes relevant to their stage of business growth

CALL TO ACTION: Do please register for access here and take a look around providing constructive feedback to info@the-grid.com

If you would like to speak to anyone about getting your programme or content onto The Grid please contact Rich via richard@the-grid.com.