University partnership strengthens membership to boost spin-out growth

Keele University Science and Business Park

A Midlands academic collaboration aimed at commercialising university-developed research projects, has expanded with the addition of two new members.

Midlands Innovation, which currently consists of the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick, is expanding to include Keele University and Cranfield University.

The partnership said the addition of Keele and Cranfield would widen its impact across the region.

Cranfield University is the UK’s only exclusively postgraduate university, and it specialises in technology and management.

Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that Cranfield has joined Midlands Innovation. We already attract investment and employment to the region through our world-class education and research. Combining our research expertise with other partner universities in Midlands Innovation means that we can contribute to major new initiatives regionally, nationally and internationally. This opens new opportunities for staff and students alike, and supports economic growth across the region.”

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, was similarly enthusiastic.

He said: “Keele is committed to driving advanced research, innovation, and skills development that will further develop our regional economy, as demonstrated by the recent launch of our £70m New Keele Deal programme, and the creation of Europe’s first Smart Energy Network Demonstrator on our campus.

“We’re looking forward to forging closer links with the other partners to further develop groundbreaking research and innovation initiatives across the Midlands.”

Professor Stuart Croft, chair of Midlands Innovation and Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick said: “The addition of our two new partners Keele University and Cranfield University is a fantastic opportunity for Midlands Innovation and the Midlands Engine.

“Both universities embody the spirit of Midlands Innovation perfectly – their world-leading research and dynamic approach to teaching and industry collaboration mean they are an obvious fit for the partnership.”