A new £1.1 million project led by Coventry University Enterprises is set to support SMEs in the West Midlands by identifying affordable technologies to ‘future proof’ the companies and gain them a competitive advantage.
The Technology and Innovation Futures (TIF) initiative, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to provide advice to small businesses on exploiting the most suitable technologies to boost their productivity and growth potential.
Investment in new technology is seen as one of the most effective ways for SMEs to increase their chances of survival during a recession, helping not only with long-term cost reductions but with securing new customers as well.
Support through the TIF project ranges from guidance on the adoption of ICT hardware and software, to design and prototyping consultancy and advice on best practice for manufacturing systems and quality control.
Frank Mills, executive chairman of Coventry University Enterprises and member of the Digital Birmingham Management Board, said: “This new project will highlight to West Midlands SMEs the significant opportunities for adopting new technology, particularly in ICT and manufacturing. We have a key role in supporting knowledge and technology transfer and we are committed to improving the global competitiveness and productivity of our regional SMEs.”
Norman Price, deputy chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, said: “The ERDF Programme is focussed on helping West Midlands businesses grow and thrive. Through this project over £1.1 million of ERDF support will help to transform the processes of local businesses to ensure they are future-oriented and ready to respond to growth opportunities presented through new technology developments.
“Through a combination of strategic planning and high-level business support encouraging the adoption of new technology, this project will help to create jobs, save jobs, boost productivity and revenue, encouraging increased competitiveness on an international scale.”