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Top award for business network


The Advanced Business Development Network (ABDN) won the Cisco Prize for New Technologies at the Lord Stafford Awards.

The accolade was a special award presented at the prestigious ceremony, which celebrates collaboration between universities and businesses in the West Midlands.

The prize is worth over £5,000 and includes security solutions such as state of the art Cisco security cameras and data protection storage.

ABDN is a network of 19 West Midlands manufacturing companies and was established to enable a group of SMEs in the West Midlands to work together to improve competitiveness and win bigger contracts than they could achieve individually.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Wolverhampton has enabled ABDN members to improve their digital marketing skills and has introduced IT systems to enable members to work together. These developments led to more than £200,000 of new business. Based at Malthouse Engineering Ltd, but working with all of the ABDN members, the KTP has employed a specialist marketing graduate to carry out the work.

It was this collaborative approach which led the company to be awarded the Cisco Prize for New Technologies. This year the prize will look at helping Malthouse and the ABDN Network with communication systems that will help them run more effectively.

Paul Buszard was the academic lead on the KTP at the University. He said: "Although the University of Wolverhampton is one of the country's biggest participants in KTP programmes, this is the first one which has involved working with a cluster of companies . The team who worked on the KTP, Roy Taylor, MD of Malthouse Engineering, Jim Wood from the ABDN and several specialist academics from Wolverhampton have worked together really well and we are all very pleased with the results."

Mark Hayward was the graduate Associate on the programme. He said: “The opportunity to work with the ABDN and Malthouse Engineering in association with the University of Wolverhampton has been hugely beneficial to me, the support from the academics at the University has been particularly valuable. This award is recognition of our efforts in developing marketing and communication activities among members and we hope to build on this success and the relationship with Cisco to further benefit the ABDN.”

For more information about the ABDN, visit or for more on Malthouse Engineering visit  


Picture: Neil Crockett - Regional Director Cisco; Paul Buszard University of Wolverhampton; Roy Taylor – Malthouse; Mark Hayward – Malthouse and Lord Stafford.

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