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Birmingham City University rewarded for combining innovation and business success

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 29 OCTOBER 2013
bcu rewarded for combining innovation

A booming small firm and innovation partner Birmingham City University have scooped a prestigious business award - after developing a revolutionary device to help families better protect their homes from flooding.

Solihull-based business Surestop, which has seen its turnover exceed £1million after collaborating with Birmingham City University, impressed judges at the prestigious Lord Stafford Awards to top the ‘Achievement in Innovation' category.

Surestop has developed a water shut-off switch - called the Surestop Switch - in partnership with Birmingham City University. Experts from the Faculty of Technology Engineering and Environment (TEE) provided specialist support to the company.

"To be awarded a Lord Stafford Award is a great achievement," said Parmjit Chima, Head of School for Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems at Birmingham City University.  

"The Lord Stafford Awards reflect excellence in combining business sense with innovative thinking - and in this case has helped to grow a company's turnover to over £1million. This is an excellent example of how university partnerships can give businesses competitive advantage, even in tough market conditions."

Parmjit Chima explained that while Surestop had the ideas and inspiration the University offered the vital ingredients of in-depth design expertise, material knowledge and sophisticated equipment, as well as market research resources.

About 250,000 Surestop Switches have already been fitted in homes throughout the country. Hundreds of local authorities and housing associations now specify the product, which has helped the small company to grow sales and is now currently exploring export opportunities.

Surestop Switches consist of a valve inserted into the water supply alongside the existing stop-tap. It makes controlling a water supply as easy as switching a light on or off - and importantly, allows the user to easily turn off the water supply in an emergency.

Other Birmingham City University entries that were also shortlisted in the 2009 Lord Stafford Awards included a project with Glasscoat International Ltd in the ‘Impact through Innovation' category while the University's Dr Mike Daniel narrowly missed out being officially named a Knowledge Transfer Champion. 

Julian Moore, the University's B2B Marketing Manager said that Birmingham City University has a track record of success with the Lord Stafford Awards and, for example, has picked up a number of accolades for its work with the legendary Morgan Motor Company.

Added by on November 18, 2009

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