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How research and development can boost your business

Research and development partnerships from Birmingham City University (BCU) can deliver exciting new solutions to current challenges. Want an example? Find out how CPD business courses from BCU have helped major car manufacturers make the transition to electric vehicles.
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How research and development can boost your business

Research and development partnerships from Birmingham City University (BCU) can deliver exciting new solutions to current challenges. Want an example? Find out how CPD business courses from BCU have helped major car manufacturers make the transition to electric vehicles.
Graphic of a car with an electric plug, riding up an arrow rising upwards

What is a research and development partnership?

A research and development partnership with BCU can support commercially focussed activities and those driven by societal challenges.

We encourage our academic researchers and students to be curious and use critical thinking to discover new topics, applications and solutions for our partners.

Studies have shown a clear link between research and development investment and economic growth.

Furthermore, university and business interaction grew during the pandemic.

“Collaboration between universities and businesses was foundational and central in combatting the crisis and leading recovery,” says Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Businesses (NCUB).

The findings from NCUB are positive, with over 80 percent of businesses indicating that interactions exceeded their expectations.

With this in mind, have you ever thought about collaborating with a University researcher on a project? There could be a number of different challenges you are facing, but perhaps you’ve never thought that universities could have the answer.

Research and development partnerships from BCU bring together academic expertise and a business in order to address a potent and topical challenge.

It’s a beneficial partnership, where each participant learns and develops. It’s collaborative and exciting, without the potential drudgery of being lectured at in a classroom.

Take the PERSEUS project, for example, which saw BCU academics partner with several leading car manufacturing firms.

The task – Addressing an industry-wide challenge  

As of 2030, the UK has announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. This change will bring with it a number of obstacles for the automotive industry.

In the meantime, electric vehicle sales continue to surge. Car manufacturers in the UK need to stay ahead of their competitors.

However, there are still challenges ahead. Namely, these electric vehicles need to get on to the road. This requires the integration of innovative technology into existing production methods.

To progress this, BCU academics and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) came together to launch PERSEUS in late 2019.

This research and development partnership aimed to help JLR and six other industry partners transition from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles.

Innovate UK/Advanced Propulsion Centre provide funding for PERSEUS.

The solution – Expert courses to inform staff and implement quicker changes

As part of the research and development partnership, BCU developed continuous professional development (CPD) business courses to upskill project partners’ staff.

By doing this, BCU managed to accelerate the training developments that were needed.

Furthermore, it provided the technical excellence in supporting the UK manufacturing cluster, specifically skills development in smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

“These courses support enhanced and more adaptable working in manufacturing scenarios, with the key objective of assisting in the transition from petrol to electric vehicle technologies,” says Junaid Arshad, BCU lecturer and part of PERSEUS.

“This impact was achieved through upskilling engineers within the consortium companies in numerous fields.

“These include automotive engineering, immersive technologies, health and safety, cyber security and artificial intelligence.”

The benefits – Impactful content that educates workforce quickly and clearly

These CPD business courses have been delivered to over 200 enrolments from seven leading organisations in the car manufacturing sector. All received the content positively.

“PERSEUS provides the opportunity to develop more effective and efficient methods and processes that will enable our plant to offer full manufacturing flexibility between electric drive units and our petrol and diesel engines,” says a JLR representative.

“The project gave us the speed and responsiveness to produce what our customers want at the right time as we transition to an electrified future. JLR was also able to develop new processes for in-house EDU manufacturing.”

The beneficiaries ranged from the attending delegates, their employers and the group as a whole who share interdependence.

Also benefitting is the regional community at large, especially economically.

Employees found themselves in stable employment, employers enhanced their global footprint and could look to recruit new staff.

Looking to the future, generations and communities will benefit from cleaner technologies.

Delivering applications and solutions with expert insight

We engage in a wide range of research and development activities, including:

  • Helping businesses develop ideas, products or business models to build their competitive advantage and increase revenue, such as working with the health sector on new ways of providing person centred care.
  • Collaborating to develop new knowledge and insights. For example, working with schools on the use of drama to help pupils explore social justice or using social sciences insights to advise policy makers.

Our academics boast real-world expertise and knowledge.

They contribute often to BCU Advantage, providing helpful, proven advice on becoming more sustainable, addressing supply chain issues and being a better business leader.

At BCU, we have academic staff that are not in an ivory tower conducting stuffy research.

Instead, we have engaged professionals keen to work closely with businesses to make real change. Our research and developments are a key part of this.

Whether you need a CPD business course or hands-on support, take advantage of this help today.

Interested in undertaking the above CPD business course?

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