The sector focus of the West Midlands Innovation Programme represents the sector strengths and major market opportunities from the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy.
At conception, a Virtual Innovation Team was established, comprising of business facing innovation experts hosted by a range of regional cluster/ sector bodies. Between them they support businesses in all the sectors and major market opportunities of the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy to recover and grow through innovation.
Find out more about our partner organisations below.
Lead: Andrew Mair
The Midlands region hosts one of the world’s biggest aerospace clusters – even though we don’t make aircraft. We design and make the aeroengines and sophisticated mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and electronic systems that make aircraft fly. We are home to nearly ¼ of the UK aerospace industry, 7% per cent of Europe’s and 3% of the world’s, with more than 40,000 FTE jobs supplying global aerospace markets – and another 20,000 jobs at 2 major airports and 8 RAF bases.
More than 300 organisations belong to the MAA, ranging from global players Meggitt, Moog Aircraft Group, Rolls-Royce and Collins Aerospace to small supply chain companies and key regional partner bodies.
Membership is open to all companies and organisations that are part of the aerospace industry or have ambitions to join it. Half of the MAA’s 300+ members make sophisticated “flying parts,” while half make expert equipment for design, testing and manufacturing, or supply specialist services. Companies outside the Midlands region join as associates – for example to access Midlands customers.
Lead: Louis Gyoh
University of Wolverhampton’s new Springfield site is a £120 million project which turned a 12-acre, Grade II listed former brewery into an architecture and built environment super-campus.
Their facility is Europe’s largest specialist Architecture and Built Environment campus and is the new home of their Architecture and Built Environment students. Along with their National Brownfield Institute also set to be built onsite, their super-campus provides a unique asset for the region.
Lead: Tim Luft
Create Central is an industry body whose members comprise some of the UK’s most creative thinkers and change makers in film, TV, games and other creative content sectors.
Through Create Central they will work with national and regional partners to create an agile and responsive network to turbo-charge the screen sector in the heart of the UK.
Create Central is working in close partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, the three Local Enterprise Partnerships and other public sector organisations.
Future of Mobility
Lead: Chris Lane
Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, is responsible for making transport ‘happen’. They are accountable for delivering against a statutory transport plan Movement for Growth, which sets out their ambition to create a happier, healthier and better-connected region through improving transport.
They’re striving to deliver a world-class integrated transport system which is clean, safe and affordable. One which puts people at the heart of decisions and gives everyone in the West Midlands access to the very best education, training and employment opportunities, no matter where they live in the region.
Health & Life Sciences
Lead: Emma Yeap
The WMHTC is a business-led membership organisation, established in 2020 to grow and maximise the potential of the health technologies sector in the region. The aims of the WMHTC are to:
- Grow the business base by nurturing new companies, developing existing businesses by creating an environment conducive to growth and attracting inward investment;
- Establish the region as a location of choice to pursue a career and to build a business in health technologies;
- Provide a consistent, coordinated ‘voice’ and profile for the West Midlands health technologies sciences community;
- Reduce duplication and address fragmentation in the region’s support services;
- Forge long-term, strategic collaborations between the business and knowledge bases that will yield both economic and societal benefits.
Lead: Liz McArdle
WMG, University of Warwick is an international leader in successful collaboration between academia and the private and public sectors, driving innovation in manufacturing, applied science, technology and engineering.
Creating a better tomorrow through innovation and learning today, they develop the brightest ideas and talent that will shape our future, and improve the competitiveness of organisations through the application of value adding innovation and new technologies.
They have a number of project funding routes for manufacturing businesses of all sizes. Contact them today on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Powered by WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Lead: Hilary Smyth-Allen
SUPERTECH drives collaboration and innovation across the West Midlands professional services tech cluster, developing a vibrant ecosystem built around the regions ambitious companies.
As a motivated group of tech leaders, they have set a series of ambitious, yet achievable goals. All helping our region thrive on both domestic and global stages. They are as follows:
- To position the West Midlands as centre of next generation services & a centre of excellence
- Vociferously championing the West Midlands, both to International & domestic audiences
- Enabling technology-led service evolution between traditional business silos
- Build innovation capacity to underpin proposition
- Enhance connectivity to accelerate ecosystem development
Lead: Jenny Illingsworth
The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) is Europe’s largest academic-based group delivering railway research, innovation, application and education and in 2022 is celebrating over 50 years since our first rail-focussed research activities.
BCRRE is now home to over 140 academic staff, post-doctoral research fellows, postgraduate research students and professional services staff, undertaking a wide range of projects which have potential application for businesses. Together we provide world class research, innovation and thought leadership within railways, as well as high-quality education including short courses, formal Masters programmes and Degree Apprenticeships. Within the University of Birmingham’s portfolio of business support programmes we can support a wide range of innovation projects, notably from the Digi-Rail programme.
Lead: Alan Carr
Sustainability West Midlands is the sustainability champion for the West Midlands. They are a not-for-profit company that works with members in the private, public and third sectors. Their role is to act as a catalyst for change through advice to leaders, developing practical solutions with members and sharing success through their communications.
SWM’s Vision is to guide the West Midlands to becoming a leader in contributing to the national target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 whilst addressing health inequality and driving inclusive growth.
We do this by monitoring the West Midlands’ Sustainability Roadmap to 2030, which focuses on improving social, economic and environmental indicators across the West Midlands for a more sustainable, fairer and greener region for all.