Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University (BCU), tells us about the University’s support for the upcoming Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) Awards and why it meets BCU’s focus to support regional businesses.
Posted 01 March 2022
Recognising achievements in challenging times
The GBCC Annual Dinner and Awards will take place on Friday 4 March at Birmingham’s ICC.
The awards ceremony will recognise the remarkable achievements of businesses across Greater Birmingham during the most challenging of times, ranging from excellence in key sectors such as manufacturing, to technology and innovation and sustainability.
We are delighted to once again work alongside our colleagues in the Chamber to support one of the most prestigious business events in Birmingham.
Transforming regional businesses
There are a number of reasons for why we continue to back the GBCC Annual Dinner and Awards.
Namely, both BCU and the GBCC strive to serve the region through building long-lasting collaborations with, and providing valuable services to, businesses of all shapes and sizes to help them to grow and innovate.
With a mission to be the University for Birmingham, we also embrace our position at the heart of regional economic and social transformation.
In common with the Chamber, we undertake a significant level of outreach activity with regional businesses, policymakers and entrepreneurs.
Examples of BCU support include:
- Supporting over 298 newly registered graduate startups (from 2017-18 to 2020-21);
- Cultivating over 6,000 interactive and engaged relationships with small businesses;
- Reaching number one in the region for volume of knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), which see businesses receive expert support to solve a challenge.
Our award-winning Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM) project, part-funded by the European Social Fund, helps identify a business’ skills gaps and provides them with student/graduate talent.
It has provided regional SMEs with something they have needed for a considerable time – tailored support that meets their needs.
The HLSM project has helped harbour better business growth in the GBSLEP region.
STEAMhouse, our award-winning centre for collaborative innovation, offers workspaces, as well as access to the latest technology, one-to-one guidance, training and events.
Since opening in May 2018, over 18,000 visitors have stepped through STEAMhouse’s doors, receiving support and insight into how they can develop and grow their business.
We will also be opening our new 100,000 square feet STEAMhouse building in April 2022.
Located in the heart of Birmingham, this breath-taking, five-storey refurbishment of the Belmont Works Factory, will house state-of-the-art business support facilities and foster exciting projects to drive business innovation and growth.
It will also be home to a thriving and collaborative community of businesses of all sizes, academic experts and specialists, entrepreneurs, artists and design technicians.
Opportunities are available to base your business within the inspirational and flexible office space available across several floors.
Alternatively, the STEAMhouse Business Incubator provides access for regional start-ups to leading business expertise, business mentoring, access to finance, and opportunities to network, supporting and nurturing growth.
BCU is regularly recognised for its role in supporting business growth and innovation, both regionally and nationally. For example:
- In 2020, BCU received the AGCAS Building Effective Partnerships Award for the aforementioned Higher Level Skills Match project, with the award’s Panel highlighting the project’s aim to tackle the gap between the future skills required by businesses and the skills currently held by the workforce.
- Our KTP with SBS Insurance, which saw us introduce them to 3D printing technology, won two awards in 2020 - the Business Impact Award at the Knowledge Transfer Network and InnovateUK’s KTP Best of the Best Awards.
- In 2021, the University was nominated for three Times Higher Education Awards for our ground-breaking research into the human rights records of all United Nation member states, BCU’s Seacole Building conversion into a Covid-19 training centre for NHS workers, and the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
- STEAMhouse’s support for business innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic – including maker boxes and an online learning portal - saw us nominated for the Knowledge Exchange Awards in 2021.
Discover how we can help your business
Our business support portal, BCU Advantage, offers a range of products and services in order to help organisations start, grow and innovate.
Entrepreneurs, startups and creatives are also encouraged to seek support from STEAMhouse.
Alternatively, if you are attending the GBCC Awards this year, please do reach out to either myself or a member of the team to learn how we can support your business growth.
Reaching out and seeing what services we can provide could be the difference between remaining uncertain and giving your business the springboard it needs.