2009, a challenging year for businesses large and small.
The University’s targeted efforts to support its business
partners through this difficult time were crystallised in a new
Innovation and Enterprise Strategy for 2010-2015. Our culture of
enterprise has already had a positive impact on industry, business
and the community, delivering recession-beating
The University saw a healthy return on
its ongoing investment in the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
(KTP) scheme. Wolverhampton rose to second in the country for the
scheme which places graduates with companies to help them boost
their profits. Wolverhampton already holds the top ranking within
Last year, the University’s KTP
initiative saw an increased take-up, helping 40% more businesses to
beat the recession with the aid of a high-calibre Wolverhampton
Thanks to funding of £24 million from
Advantage West Midlands, the European Regional Development Fund and
the Technology Strategy Board, KTP activity is set to grow still
further. Led by the University of Wolverhampton, a consortium of 12
regional universities will work to increase the number of
partnerships from 70 to 210 over the next three years.
The University’s ongoing drive to deliver a coherent and
consistent product offering to the marketplace was marked with the
launch of Intelligent Career Development (i-CD) in 2009. The
continuing professional development company, i-CD Ltd, works
with employers to maximise the skills and knowledge of their
workforce with client-focused training packages.
i-CD has a clear remit; to help boost
the performance and profitability of local small and medium-sized
enterprises by advancing opportunities for flexible learning
through accessible and affordable training, accredited by the
University of Wolverhampton.
The University was awarded a £300,000 Joint Information Systems
Committee (JISC) project to develop an employer-responsive
curriculum. The project will be managed through the University’s
Institute for Learning Enhancement
The project supports the upskilling of workers in the West
Midlands, focusing on small to medium-sized enterprises, by meeting
the training needs of employers through a cutting-edge portfolio.
It will respond to the particular concerns of individual businesses
and to the development of customised learning programmes, as well
as delivering workshops and external events.
The University kicked-off a pioneering entrepreneurship training
programme focused on sports businesses in the UK. We teamed up with
Wolverhampton Wanderers to support a new generation of UK graduate
Wolverhampton Wanderers are the first football club in the
country to be involved in a scheme of this type. The FlyingStart
Programme for Sports Business is set to raise the game of ambitious
young business people, providing support, assistance and mentoring
to get their enterprise started and running successfully.
Diana Thompson, Business Director of the University’s
award-winning e-Innovation Centre was
shortlisted for the prestigious title of Businesswoman of the Year
2009, in the Midlands’ Vitalise awards. Under Diana’s leadership,
the e-Innovation Centre is now home to more than 57 companies as
well as providing consultancy and mentoring to more than 170
The Centre has achieved a model of best practice accolade from
the National Audit Office. As a result of its work, more than
73 new jobs have been created, and approaching £3 million in new
sales generated, by companies occupying the Centre and receiving
A £5.2 million scheme run by the University’s Institute for
Innovation & Enterprise (IIE) gave students with
entrepreneurial flair the support and financial backing they need
to create their own business opportunities.
The Student Placements for Entrepreneurs
in Education West Midlands (SPEED WM) programme gave 30
students the opportunity to set up their own business whilst they
are at university. In addition to financial support worth up to
£4,500, participants get 10 hours of coaching from a qualified
business mentor, plus business training and use of incubation space
at Wolverhampton Science Park.
The University of Wolverhampton also manages the project
regionally for the partner institutions, which are the universities
of Aston, Birmingham, Birmingham City, Coventry, Keele,
Staffordshire and Worcester.
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