Birmingham City University and Aston University have joined forces to relaunch the Innovation Vouchers scheme, which aims to help them develop new processes and systems to improve their efficiency, and to bring new products and services to market.
The project encourages businesses to invest in innovation and growth, and matches funding put in place up to £2,500, and enables them to work with academic experts at each of the institutions to boost the growth of their business.
A series of new online ‘Innovation Workshops’ have been launched which will run until the end of November, allowing SMEs to hear from leading speakers and gain insights into how innovation can help develop their offering.
The sessions focus on different topics each week, including, marketing in turbulent times, innovation and leadership and the big 10 capabilities of growth.
Mark Gilman, Professor of SME Growth and Development, at Birmingham City University, said: “Companies who build a clear and concise strategy, who invest in being innovative in both products and processes and who develop critical leadership skills are much more likely to be successful and grow sustainably than those that don’t”.
The Innovation Vouchers scheme was first launched in 2016, and has been renewed to help businesses across the West Midlands hit by the coronavirus pandemic to get back on their feet.
The last phase of the scheme led to an average increased turnover of £11,500 p/a, with future expected benefits over three years topping £200,000 p/a..