Innovation in the West Midlands
The West Midlands has huge potential to drive jobs and growth through harnessing the power of innovation. As identified in the West Midlands Plan for Growth, the region is the centre for key growth clusters for advanced manufacturing and home to the ‘Green Industrial Revolution’. DIATOMIC and Clean Futures will build on this foundation, supporting innovators in the region and increasing the West Midland’s overall capability to spark commercial growth and investment.
DIATOMIC (Digital InnovAtion TransfOrMatIve Change) will accelerate place-based innovation in the West Midlands. Harnessing the region’s existing international relationships and through a series of targeted initiatives, it will focus on growing the region’s clean tech, health tech and med tech markets.
The programme is being led by Connected Places Catapult alongside partners: Aston University, Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham.
The project will enable civic leaders to set innovation challenges, support local SMEs to respond through an accelerator programme, and benefit the community through the UK’s first Inclusive Innovation hub. It will also promote the use of data to enable better place-based decision making and develop an impact assessment toolkit.
About Clean Futures
Clean Futures will support the West Midlands’ transport sector as it transitions away from fossil fuels towards clean tech. The programme will also drive economic growth in the region by accelerating the route to market for SMEs in the sector.
Clean Futures is being led by Connected Places Catapult alongside partners: the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation, Coventry University and CU Services Limited. Over the course of two years, 40 SMEs will be selected to join a 6-month, challenge-led accelerator where they will receive up to £50K to trial their solution. The challenges in the accelerator will be built around very light rail and automotive manufacturing, along with related supply chains. The accelerator will also provide bespoke technical and commercial support as well as networking and showcasing events to connect the SMEs with industry and financial partners.
This accelerator will attract high growth SMEs from existing supply chains as well as those looking to move into new sectors. It will support them in developing clean technology transport solutions and demonstrating their value to Tier 1 vendors and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). To ensure sustainability and long-term benefits, the Clean Futures project will establish the Clean Futures Catalyst, which will bring together the wider West Midlands transport community to enhance the region’s capacity for clean technology across all sectors. It will support the development of a pipeline of capable innovators for future accelerator programs and engage local businesses, industry partners, service providers, and local government bodies in making the region a leader in the technologies required for cleaner industry and transport.
Coventry University and Coventry University Services Ltd