New series of informal networking sessions for businesses launches at BCU

Leading and emerging businesses from the region assembled at Birmingham City University (BCU) for the first in an enlightening new series of events designed to provide professionals with the opportunity to network, gain insight on key trends, access BCU’s support and forge new collaborative opportunities.

Posted 20 February 2023

Regional businesses at the first ever Fusion networking session, Curzon Building, 16th February 2023.

Providing a platform for the region’s business community  

The Fusion series kicked off with a networking session and dinner at the University’s Curzon Building on Thursday 16 February.

The events, which bring together business professionals from a range of sectors for an informal gathering, are part of BCU’s mission to be the University for Birmingham, aiding regional transformation.

“The name Fusion represents our ambition for collaboration, conversation and radical openness with the region’s business community, as well as reflecting our commitment to strong and progressive business-university partnerships,” says Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

“Fusion also represents our desire to better understand sector-specific pain points and to use our expertise to help us further shape and develop our support and skills response.”

A chance to learn, explore, engage and collaborate

The first of the Fusion series enabled professionals to:

  • Network with around 60 other c-suite leaders from the region’s business, professional and financial services sector
  • Explore opportunity around BCU’s services for business growth, innovation and skills acquisition such as apprenticeships, research, professional development and graduate talent
  • Hear from some of BCU's leading academics on key trends and opportunities affecting your sector
  • Learn how to access our pioneering support around themes such as digital transformation, and advanced facilities to support growth and innovation
  • Influence, shape and inspire future thinking and sector-based strategy through engaging with senior University leaders

At the evening, Joanna Birch – Director of the University’s Innovation, Enterprise and Employability (IEE) directorate – spoke to attendees about the University’s flagship STEAMhouse facility and its role in helping the region to innovate.

Those attending also got to hear about cyber digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and how the University’s faculties can play a vital role in supporting the growth and development of businesses.

Facilitating economic and future growth

The first ever Fusion event drew widespread praise from attendees, who felt it emphasised BCU’s commitment to making a positive, tangible difference to businesses across the region.

“As a business that is based in the West Midlands, it’s really important to connect with institutions like BCU. That spirit of partnership that they offer, the fusion between academia and business, is really important for us,” says Paul Faulkner, Chief of Staff and Operations at RCL Partners.

“It enables us to find future talent and new skills, but also enables to feed into the University so they can set their curricula and ensure we get the stars of the future into our business.

“That exchange of knowledge is essential if we are going to drive our economy forward, and events like this really help to facilitate that.”

“BCU is all about collaboration. We know that working with our partners, we are going to understand their needs and work together to determine new knowledge and new skills to meet their requirements,” Joanna Birch says. 

“Fusion is all about bringing that conversation and passion to work together in order to grow for the future.”