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Economy

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We’re supporting our local economy to thrive by creating opportunities for businesses and industries in our region to grow and develop. We support the local economy through our support services, our education programmes and our research.

Our economic impact

In 2019-20 we generated over £1.15 billion for the local economy, in terms of our direct spend with local firms, the money spent locally by our students, and the productivity and output growth we help generate in local businesses.

Services for business


Warwick Innovation District (WID)

A large, open innovation ecosystem that stretches from the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, through Leamington to Wellesbourne. We bring together academics, businesses, founders, and investors, to start, scale and pivot businesses, while helping students gain the opportunity to experiment with creative and critical thinking. Our passion is to see our region prosper. In 2022, Business data firm Beauhurst, ranked us the top University in the Midlands region for number of spinout companies.

Our focus sectors:

Find out more about Warwick Innovation District

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WID - Creative and Digital

Coventry and Warwickshire has the largest creative cluster outside London and with Leamington Spa’s Creative Quarter, Coventry City of Culture, Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the offing, we help harness the wealth of opportunities in our region.

Our Creative Futures incubator in partnership with Warwickshire County Council, BT and the University of Warwick is for any early-stage and start-up to develop entrepreneurial skills, test and launch their creative & digital business from 1 Mill Street in Leamington Spa.

“The Incubator opened so many doors for me and has empowered my company to support so many a cappella groups up and down the country.” Read Shaquira's business story

Our new Esports Centre on campus is a space to explore everything this dynamic, emerging sector has to offer.

Explore our support for the Creative and Digital sector

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WID - West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Innovation Network

The West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Innovation Network is a programme that helps solve NHS challenges by identifying innovators with solutions and guiding them through the product development process. The network is driven by the University of Warwick in partnership with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and Bruntwood SciTech and funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Explore our support for the Health and Wellbeing Innovation sector

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WID - Deep Tech Innovation Centre

The Deep Tech Innovation Centre supports students, researchers, alumni & local start-up companies to explore the commercial potential of their innovations in areas ranging from Advanced Materials and Biotechnology to Blockchain, Quantum Computing and Robotics.

Explore our support for the Deep Tech Innovation sector

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WMG Accelerator programme

The accelerator is a combination of resources from the High Value Manufacturing catapult and WMG – the University of Warwick, supporting early stage businesses with MVP (minimum viable products) to further develop a product/service for market success.

Nuneaton based company Lanemark Combustion Engineering saved £50k a year through factory optimisation.

“Improvements are still a work in progress with more changes to be made, but each time we make an improvement we spot further opportunities for improvement. The trick is to keep the ball moving. We really enjoyed working with WMG and couldn’t recommend them enough.” Alan Thompson, Operations Director,Lanemark Combustion Engineering Ltd

Explore our support for the High Value Manufacturing sector

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We nurture new and existing businesses based in the West Midlands (Coventry, Warwickshire) and give them the tools and ability to reach their full potential. We offering a range of business support services across Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull for over 35 years from business mentoring for start-ups and SMEs to skills development and focused strategic projects for growing firms.

Some of our programmes:

Find out more about our Science Park

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UWSP - Business Ready

Our Business Ready programme is part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Warwickshire County Council and the University of Warwick Science Park. The programme primarily supports tech-based SMEs in Coventry and Warwickshire. View the latest impact report.

“I’d definitely encourage other businesses to tap into the support available. You can see how much it’s helped us from a sales point of view and the growth we’ve achieved.” Kevin Nairne, Kelcie's Horse Treats, Alcester, Warwickshire

Find out more about Business Ready

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USWP - Minerva Business Angels

Minerva Business Angels is part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd and is an organisation which has helped over 70 companies received more than £ 11 million through its network of Angel investors attracting around a further £35 million in co-investment.

A 2021 report commissioned by Midlands Innovation universities highlighted the contribution made by Minerva Business Angels to the region’s investment ecosystem. Minerva Business Angels was named as top two funder in the Scaleup Green Economy Index and, according to business data firm Beauhurst, is the biggest angel investor in the Midlands by deals completed, and the second biggest in the UK between 2011 and 2021

Find out more about Minvera Business Angels

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Wellesbourne Innovation Campus

We are developing our Wellesbourne campus as an innovation campus, supporting diversification of the local economy and increasing job opportunities, including for graduates. The Wellesbourne campus is now home to Lotus Engineering, Rimac, Corteva, Dow Agroscience and a range of small businesses as well as University applied crop and battery research.

Find out more about our Wellesbourne Innovation Campus

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WMG - support for SMEs

WMG are helping businesses in our region make more in the UK with a team of dedicated experts looking to solve the UK manufacturing challenges that matter, through analysing and improving technology and processes for a globally sustainable future.

Over the past 10 years, they have worked with thousands of SMEs to help them address technology challenges, exploit new market opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.

Sandwell based Ramfoam was helped by WMG to scale up production from 100,000 to two million face visors a week for the Government at the height of the pandemic.

Read more about WMG's SME support

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Image: The workshop of the Ramfoam facility, Credit: WMCA

Support from Warwick Students

We work with employers from SMEs and Not for Profit organisations, to global multinationals across all business sectors. Whether you are looking to recruit for a large-scale graduate training scheme or a summer placement student, Employer Connect can support you.

We offer a funded internship programme to UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises and charities for 6 weeks project-based collaboration with a Warwick undergraduate student/finalist, supported by a VAT-free reimbursement grant of £2300. You can also get support from our Warwick Business School students.

Read more about Employer Connect

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Forum for Leaders of Inclusive Cultures (FLIC)

In collaboration with our regional partners, Coventry City Council and the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, we launched the Forum for Leaders of Inclusive Cultures (FLIC) in order to support employers throughout the region.

"FLIC creates a forum for sharing good practice and building networks. It runs webinars and events on all areas of inclusive leadership, involving speakers and panel members with knowledge, expertise and experience in the field. If building an inclusive culture for high performance is important to your business (and I hope it is), then I would strongly encourage you to register for FLIC webinars and join the mailing list." Professor Chris Ennew (Provost, University of Warwick).

Learn more about the Forum

Upcoming Forum events

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Degree Apprenticeships

We provide 20 Degree Apprenticeship programmes across five academic departments for 791 students, one of the largest groups of degree apprenticeship courses at a Russell Group university.

In 2021 we opened our new Degree Apprenticeship Centre which provides apprentices with the opportunity to study on degree programmes to develop the skills needed by advanced engineering and manufacturing companies. The Centre offers degree apprenticeship training programmes for up to 1,000 students at a time.

Explore our information for employers

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Executive Education

Our programmes at Warwick Business School combine world-class teaching and industry expertise to provide organisations and individuals with the tools they need to achieve.

Our MBA was ranked number one in the UK by the Economist in 2021 and has been ranked among the top 5 business schools in the UK and one of the top 20 in the whole of Europe by the Financial Times in 2021. Warwick Business School is one of top two schools for sustainability.

Learn more about our Executive Education programmes

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WMG Skills Centre

The WMG Skills Centre has been set up to address the skills shortage facing businesses and industry, both regionally and nationally. The short courses offered by the Centre bring future skills to business today in key areas:

  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Supply Chain
  • Automotive Electrification
  • Automotive Battery Engineering
  • Automotive Power Electronics & Motor Drives
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Digital Healthcare

Explore our new WMG Skills Centre

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Midlands Regional Productivity Forum

We are leading the Midlands Regional Productivity Forum on behalf of The Productivity Institute, a UK-wide research organisation exploring what productivity means for business, for workers and for communities – how it is measured and how it truly contributes to increased living standards and well-being.

Learn more about the research of The Productivity Institute

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Midlands Innovation

We are part of Midlands Innovation, a collaboration between the eight research intensive universities in the Midlands.

Its ambition is to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development that will grow the high-tech, high-skilled economy of the Midlands and the UK.

Learn more Midlands Innovation

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Midlands Health Innovation

We are part of Midlands Health Innovation (MHI), a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the medical strengths of 7 research intensive Midlands universities.

Learn more about Midlands Health Innovation

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Mental Health and Productivity in the workplace

We are leading a new pilot offering mental health and wellbeing support to employees in the Midlands.

The research is led by WMG at the University of Warwick in partnership with the University of Birmingham and Mind, the mental health charity, and is funded by the Midlands Engine as part of the Mental Health Productivity Pilot programme (MHPP).

Learn more about the Mental Health Productivity Pilot programme

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Stimulating Growth in the West Midlands

Attracting new firms and investment to the West Midlands is vital for job creation in the region. Research led by Professor Nigel Driffield underpinned economic strategies for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) that linked firm strategy, the value proposition that the region projects, and an understanding of the jobs created. As a result, the West Midlands is outperforming other parts of the country, creating more jobs and attracting new employers.

Find out more about this research

For more examples of how we are pointing the way ahead towards a better and fairer future for all, visit Research Stories | University of Warwick.

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Enterprise Research Centre

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), led by Professor Stephen Roper, Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School, has become a hub of excellence for research into small businesses. Based jointly at Warwick and Aston Business Schools, the ERC has transformed the approach taken by UK Government to measuring SME performance and improving firm-level productivity, contributing to the UK’s economic performance.

Find out more about our partnering with policy makers

For more examples of how we are pointing the way ahead towards a better and fairer future for all, visit Research Stories | University of Warwick.

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Enterprise Research Centre

Warwick Institute of Employment Research

Our Warwick Institute of Employment Research (IER) provides high quality research to improve policymaker and practitioner understanding of labour markets, work and employment regionally and nationally.

Read about the Midlands Good Work Charter, led by Acas, and supported by other organisations, including the IER, the initiative is looking to make an effective, meaningful charter which can confront the economic challenges of our time.

Find out more about IER

For more examples of how we are pointing the way ahead towards a better and fairer future for all, visit Research Stories | University of Warwick.

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Institute for Employment Research