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Seven universities join forces to power up the Midlands Engine to boost growth

Seven Midlands universities officially joined forces today in a pioneering partnership to provide a powerful economic resource for the Midlands Engine, after Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated her support for the initiative.

Midlands Enterprise Universities, will see De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Derby, University of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Wolverhampton, collaborate to support jobs and wealth creation in the region.

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The consortium formally launched at Birmingham City University’s Curzon building this morning in front of a room of key business leaders, academics and local authority members. Professor Nigel Wright, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Business and Innovation, represented DMU.

The partnership brings the institutions together to create a unique pool of skills, research, expertise and facilities, which will be made available to businesses and local authorities to create jobs, boost economic growth and plug skills gaps across the East and West Midlands. 

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is in Birmingham this week for the Conservative Party Conference, has already pledged her support for the Midlands Engine, which is the Conservative Party's economic plan to maximise the benefits of the region’s location at the heart of the country. 

Midlands Enterprise Universities will use its knowledge and expertise to support businesses and sectors key to the region’s growth, including:

•    Manufacturing engineering and transport technologies
•    Creative and digital design
•    Food and drink manufacturing
•    Health and life sciences
•    Energy and low carbon technologies

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University, said: “De Montfort University (DMU) is at the forefront of creating and applying knowledge that supports economic development.

“Being part of Midlands Enterprise Universities will mean we can bring our expertise and our connections to bear on delivering economic growth for our region, enhancing the quality of life of our citizens and communities. The East Midlands is a powerhouse of our national economy and we are delighted that universities are recognised as such an integral part of its future development.”

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Collectively, the universities contribute more than £3 billion to the region’s economy and already work with many major organisations such as Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, PepsiCo, UNIPART and the BBC.

They are working closely with their supply chain companies and also deliver focused support to many local small and medium sized businesses.

The consortium is also working with the Midlands Engine to develop collective plans to improve the region’s economy. These include how to develop integrated routes for developing talent in the manufacturing and engineering sector, as well as how to provide a full package of business support to smaller organisations and start-ups with growth potential.

Posted on Tuesday 4th October 2016

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