Deputy Vice-Chancellor discusses innovation in leading parliamentary journal

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Julian Beer has discussed the important role Birmingham City University plays in driving innovation for the region in a leading parliamentary journal.

Posted 11 January 2022

Julian Beer at the 2019 GBCC Conference

Influential and informative journal

Professor Beer was invited to contribute to Science in Parliament, the journal of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee.

Published four times a year, the journal provides comprehensive pieces from eminent professionals on topics including science, technology, engineering and news within the Houses of Parliament.

The Committee, founded in 1939, provides a liaison between Parliamentarians and scientific bodies, and its news and content often informs members of both Houses of Parliament.

Supporting regional innovation

In his piece, Julian discussed the prominent role the University plays in supporting regional innovation.

BCU has over 6,000 interactive and engaged relationships with small businesses, with 1,691 formally assisted to start, grow or innovate since 2017/18.

BCU is also ranked first in the region in terms of volume of knowledge transfer partnerships.

Referencing the innovation gap in Greater Birmingham and Solihull and the Black Country LEPs – which falls 8-12 percent below English best practice - Julian stressed how BCU must help address and solve such issues.

“Universities such as Birmingham City must ensure that we embrace our position at the heart of economic and social transformation, while also ensuring that appropriate mechanisms are in place to empower innovation-led recovery,” he said.

Collaborative, responsive systems and facilities  

Julian also enthused about the University’s STEAM approach, specifically how STEAMhouse has created a strong collaborative community and drove growth within the region, as well as discussing the new STEAMhouse building, set to open in early 2022.

BCU’s innovation capabilities have been strengthened further following the University’s accreditation from the Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE Institute).

Achieving the Investor in Innovations Standard, BCU became only the second institution in the country – and first in the region – to receive the accreditation.

"Accreditation will underpin the delivery of the highest quality development pathways, innovative practice and learning for the regional business community and practitioners, alongside our student and staff body," Julian said.

"Business and research partnerships play an essential role in driving innovation activity – a vital enabler in levelling up the UK’s economy."

In the journal article, Julian emphasised the importance of receiving this accreditation and what it will mean for the University moving forward.

“Working with the IKE Institute, we will strive to support improved innovative capacity through an agile, practitioner-focussed, collaborative and responsive system,” Julian said.

Julian’s article features in the Winter edition of the Science in Parliament journal, and will be published in late January 2022. For more information, visit the Publications section of their website.