West Midlands innovation fund delivers eleven-fold return on investment and brings jobs to region

Central Technology Belt - Birmingham - Worcestershire

An independent evaluation of the Technology Transfer Fund (TTF2) (pdf, 431kb) has underlined the value that the SME support fund has played in regional economic growth.

The fund was launched by Advantage West Midlands in 2005 to assist development of small and medium sized science and technology businesses within the Central Technology Belt, the high technology corridor that follows the A38 from Birmingham, through Worcester, to Malvern. TTF2 offered grants of up to £25,000 to more than 150 local companies.

The report (pdf, 431kb) produced by ekosgen on behalf of Advantage West Midlands found that the TTF2 realised more than £25 million of additional net turnover for the businesses it supported, and also created an additional 47 jobs during the two year project lifespan.

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Making the invisible visible: matching West Midlands ICT SMEs with business opportunities

West Midlands ICT Cluster AWMistThis is a guest post written by Brian Prangle with contributions from Andrew Mackenzie.

West Midlands Regional Development Agency, Advantage West  Midlands (AWM) has unveiled its latest initiative to stimulate and develop the high technology sector.

AWMist (A Web Map-based Information Search Tool) is the first regional interface of its kind where collaboration, business opportunity building, and partnerships can be easily forged between the region’s ICT SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and those who can support and assist them, such as funding agencies, universities and business support projects.

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Small and medium-sized enterprise 2007 statistics published

The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has just published its 2007 Statistics on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and its regions, including a statistical press release and a suite of data tables.

This year’s release includes the bi-annual regional breakdown of the national figures, listing the numbers of enterprises of various sizes in the West Midlands and other regions. The figures suggest several changes since 2005: the total number of enterprises increased by more than 20 000 to over 375 000, and total turnover increased by 10% to more than £210 billion.

Contributions to turnover were not even. 0.1% of all West Midlands enterprises employed 37% of the region’s employees, and contributed to 42% of the turnover.

Support for e-business adoption

Businessman with a laptop and mobile phoneThe last month has seen the launch of a new business service from the Observatory. We now have an online directory of organisations and websites who will support SMEs in all aspects of e-business adoption. If your business hasn’t yet got any e-business capability or is looking to broaden or expand existing capability then you will find in it things to help increase your competitiveness and profits.

[Ed: This service was archived in August 2009 and is no longer available on www.wmro.org]