Birmingham City University has been named as one of the top institutions in the country for its work with enterprise, contribution to skills, and support for local growth and regeneration in the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which charts how universities work in partnership with business and communities.
The KEF has been created to examine how universities serve the economy and society for the benefit of the public, business and communities. The KEF also supports improved access to economies and society’s knowledge and expertise.
In the first KEF, BCU was ranked among the country’s leading institutions in skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship, working with businesses and local growth and regeneration. The results show the contribution Birmingham City University is making to its city in supporting the development of much needed skills for employment, innovation with existing businesses and start-up businesses, and in providing expert research and advice for key businesses and sectors.
Key initiatives that were used to demonstrate impact under the KEF included the STEAMhouse project, which brings together artists, academics and industry to collaborate on new ideas, skills, products and services to both underpin economic growth, and drive the innovation capacity of the region.
STEAMhouse has supported more than 600 businesses and launched a new incubation centre for business collaboration since its launch in May 2018. It is currently investing £70m in the regeneration of an historic Birmingham building to host a new innovation campus.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Julian Beer said, “Universities have a responsibility to serve the communities they are in, and as a university that prides itself on the contribution we make to our city, it is extremely pleasing to see this ethos reflected in the Knowledge Exchange Framework.
“We know that the vast majority of our students not only come from the West Midlands, but also stay here after graduation, so training our future workforce and supporting the existing and developing businesses of our region is at the heart of all that we do.
“We will continue to work hard in partnership with business, community and civic leaders, and play our part in the city for years to come. The opening of our new STEAMhouse facility in the rejuvenated Belmont Works later this year will give us a platform to go even further with this.”