New €1 million research to help businesses

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face risks associated with information and financial management, health and safety and intellectual property which they often lack the capability to manage.

Funded by the European Commission, the new £850,000 (approx. €1 million) four-year scheme will aim to develop software to help them manage operational risks facing their business.

The aim is to create an affordable and user-friendly system that will enable SMEs to assess and monitor potential risk, with a view to completely eliminating or minimising its impact.

The project will be led by the University’s School of Technology and will include partners from the UK, Czech Republic and Denmark, being funded under the European Commission’s FP7 Marie Curie Industry Academia Partnerships and Pathways initiative.

Professor Chike Oduoza, head of the Process and Manufacturing Engineering Group which is leading the research, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the European Commission for this research. The project will provide an affordable, flexible software based tool for small to medium businesses to assist them in managing operational risks facing their businesses.”

The project will involve knowledge transfer and the exchange of researchers for up to two months across partner institutions and companies. The research will be shared via seminars, workshops, a website and international conferences. PhD students will also be trained during the course of the project.

The University of Wolverhampton will work closely with the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology, the University of West Bohemia and Thyme Software throughout the venture.

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The University is based in the industrial heartlands of the country and has a long history of supporting businesses in a range of sectors. We’re delighted to have secured funding from the EU for this research to build upon our successes with SMEs, and look forward to further developing our work with regional and international partners.”

Professor Ndy Ekere, Dean of the School of Technology, added: "As one of the largest providers of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in the country, our work with small and medium enterprises has always been a vital component of our work. This funding for the SME Risk Management project will help us to develop and expand this expertise, enabling our researchers to work more closely and collaboratively with SMEs across the UK and in Europe.”

For further information contact Professor Chike F. Oduoza, the Project Director, on 01902 323944.

ENDS

Date Issued: Friday, 05 April 2013

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