By strengthening and growing links between our universities and businesses, we will drive innovation, productivity and competitive advantage in regionally significant sectors, many of which are already thriving in the Midlands. Working together, we are fostering a community of ideas, increasing access to finance for SMEs and accelerating the impact of innovation across every part of the Midlands.
The Midlands is the fastest growing regional economy outside London (2015-2018). Home to world-leading businesses and universities, we boast real strengths in important sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, agri-tech, food and drink processing, space and digital technologies. The region is a concentration of groundbreaking innovation with assets including the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), Warwick Manufacturing Group, Horiba MIRA, National Rail Research Centre, National Automotive Centre, National Centre for Earth and Observation Science and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit identified four priorities for the region:
- Next-generation transport
- Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
- Future food processing
- Energy and low carbon
In addition, by integrating the financial and insurance sector (worth £7.8 billion to the Midlands Engine economy) with new technologies – FinTech – there is the potential to generate greater value and more opportunities for our region.
Access to finance for SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), connected by successful incubation, business support and networking opportunities, are vital to the Midlands Engine economy. Since 2018, over £50 million of UK equity investment has been secured by Midlands SMEs. Additionally, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), delivered by the British Business Bank across our region, brings over £250 million of investment to boost SME business growth in the Midlands, with access to small business loans, equity and debt finance.
Working with the region’s nine Local Enterprise Partnerships, fund managers and the business community, access to finance through the MEIF provides a broad range of finance opportunities to Midlands businesses. Find out more.
The Strategic Programme Group Chair for Innovation and Enterprise is Iain Gillespie. For more information or to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org