A new £12 million programme has just been announced to help Midlands SMEs access some of the world's leading product and service design Technology. The new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at WMG at the University of Warwick, is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Warwick in a funding partnership brought together by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM).
The new Institute will have its own dedicated building by the summer of 2012, providing an open plan environment which will allow engineers and innovators from local Small and Medium Sized businesses to see and touch the technology for themselves and talk through their needs with experts co-located with the technology.
The Institute will bring into one place some of the world's leading product and service technologies including: multi-functional polymers that enable advanced electronics and functionality to be embedded in three dimensional plastic moulded components, and digital design tools that will allow the creation of virtual products that can shared with production partners. However the very latest digital design tools that will be available to SMEs at the new Institute will go one step further than most in that they will also be designed to deliver the best emotional experience for consumers.
WMG Director Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya said:
"Today even the most low tech of products benefit enormously from the latest design technology in creating them and fitting them for the marketplace. The best product design technology will ensure that even the sound, feel and look of a product is perfected and even tailored to the customer's desires. This new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation will allow Midlands SMEs to find the technology they need to deliver that customer expectation."