As a connected University at the heart of our local, national and international communities, we strive to be collaborative, innovative and entrepreneurial. Our strong business partnerships are testament to a culture of enterprise and highlight our commitment to regeneration and expanding the knowledge economy.
The city welcomed a high-level trade delegation from the Indian industrial powerhouse of Bangalore, building on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Wolverhampton City Council and the University in 2010. The government and trade officials spent two days discovering what opportunities the city had to offer for investment and co-operation.
A new project was announced which aims to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) explore and adopt new technologies that will have a positive impact on their business. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Innovation 1st scheme aims to demonstrate cutting-edge technologies at a new state-of-the-art Visualisation Centre at the Telford Campus. Businesses have access to specialist advice and events, and direct assistance on a one-to-one basis, to enable them to take their ideas forward.
The University hosted a number of high-profile business people during the 2010/11 academic year to give engaging and inspiring lectures for staff and students. Among those present was founder of the successful smoothie company Innocent, Richard Reed, who attended Enterprise Fest, which allows students to find out more about graduate opportunities, careers and employability and self-employment.
The University has forged a new partnership with a leading organisation which safeguards the standards of education and business links. A Memorandum of Co-operation was signed with the Institute for Education Business Excellence (IEBE). This will enable the Institute to develop its professional Development programme, allowing its members the opportunity to take qualifications and courses right up to Masters level. The Institute draws its membership from practitioners within a wide range of roles in schools, colleges, businesses and specialist organisations in the UK and overseas.
Nine modern conference rooms, which have been completely refurbished and equipped, were officially opened at the Telford Campus in 2011. These include an IT suite, a relaxed conference guest lounge and a spacious exhibition and event catering area, to meet the needs of a range of companies and organisations.
Enterprising students, who launched their own companies alongside their studies, showcased their business successes at a special exhibition. The SPEED WM programme allows students on any course to develop their business ideas while receiving specialist business advice and support. The SPEED Stars 2011 exhibition enabled the talented entrepreneurs to meet and network with local business people, and companies on display included a homeopathy practitioner, a quirky fashion brand and a commercial video production firm.
One of the SPEED stars hit the catwalk at London Fashion Week 2011 with her latest collection. Fashion designer and entrepreneur Tamara Joseph’s Spring/Summer Collection 2011 was selected for an emerging designer’s showcase with high-profile company, Fashion’s Finest. The Senior Fashion Technician, who is also studying a Masters in Fashion and Textiles, launched her own business Catalyst by Tamara Joseph’ with help from the SPEED WM programme.