Man leading innovation education seminar

Innovation funding for West Mids education

Funding is being committed to the launch of ‘nationally leading’ technology adoption centres in the West Midlands.

Coming as part of Innovate UK’s Further Education Innovation Fund, £2.4 million is being allocated to further education colleges as they are being supported to create Local Innovation Centres. The programme has been dubbed a ‘trailblazing approach’ to strengthening further education colleges’ roles in technology adoption within communities, with West Midlands Combined Authority working alongside Innovate UK to co-design the approach.

Portfolio holder for Productivity and Skills, and Leader of Coventry Council, Cllr George Duggins said:

“This Innovate UK funding is great news for our region. Leading in innovation will mean that further education colleges will help contribute to innovation in our region while boosting productivity levels and stimulating our economic growth. In turn, this will help create high-quality jobs and enrich the lives of local communities.”

Walsall College, Birmingham Metropolitan College, and Coventry College will be involved in the programme, with each Local Innovation Centre tailoring the approach to the needs of businesses within the community. These centres will ensure that local businesses are supported through growth, as they are educated on how innovative technologies, processes, and business models can be adopted within key economic sectors.

Andy Street Education quote

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, also commented:

“The West Midlands has a long and proud tradition of innovation. The action plan I launched with Innovate UK last July set out to harness that spirit of entrepreneurship for the benefit of our businesses and communities.

“We’re already a leading region for UK innovation when it comes to automotive and aerospace and our further education colleges are becoming increasingly important to our wider economy, supporting our drive for new cutting-edge technologies. They often exist in communities where universities and Catapult centres don’t, and so this is a very forward-thinking approach by Innovate UK to pilot the role they can play in working with local businesses to adopt new advanced technologies.”


Image credit: iStock


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