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Business Support Programme exceeds expectations, helping 1400 West Midlands companies

Yesterday evening (Wednesday 10th June 2015), WMG at the University of Warwick celebrated the completion of its funded programme at the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation. It was announced that the programme had reached 1400 West Midlands companies, with 207 projects completed and as a result 200 jobs had been either safeguarded or created in the region.

The SME Team at WMG has also created four innovation driven businesses, and generated additional revenue for SMEs to engage in further research with the institution. A number of products have also been developed through the programme including a novel mudguard product - Mudhugger, ski locking system - Loqski with Barkley Plastics Ltd and an innovative LED light which has been designed for high speed camera applications with Simpact Engineering Ltd.

The International Institute for Product and Service Innovation was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Warwick to the value of £12.4 million. Over the last four years IIPSI and its Innovation Programme has supported West Midlands SMEs access world-leading technology to develop highly competitive, innovative products and services.

One company to benefit from the scheme was Autins Group who after initially attending a digital marketing workshop worked with WMG to develop a novel material from their factory waste and developed a new product line. Jim Griffin, Chairman at Autins Group said:

“It has been a delight to work with WMG over the last four years. SMEs across the UK should make the most of the support offered by academic institutions to help them innovate and grow; it has certainly worked for us!”

The programme also supported other manufacturers in the region including Pashley Cycles, Barton Coldform Ltd and the MAN group of companies.

The chairman of the MAN Group of companies Tony Hague also managing director at PP Electrical Systems Ltd said:

“Working with WMG has opened our eyes to a range of new technologies and has supported our quest for growth. The MAN Group companies have worked with WMG on numerous projects to develop new processes and products which has led to over £1 million in additional turnover for the group and the generation of 10 new jobs. We will continue to engage with them in the future.”

WMG’s SME Team will continue to offer support to SMEs through a range of other programmes and will maintain a technology showcase space for SMEs to ensure the long term economic success of the region. More details at:


Mark Swift, Head of SME Programmes at WMG said:

“It has been a delight and a privilege to work with so many forward thinking SMEs and help them move up their supply chains. We are now building our new initiatives with a focus on high value manufacturing to sustain the work we have been doing at IIPSI and to continue to give a technology led competitive advantage to the nation’s small businesses.”


For further for information for media please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick,
UK Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860 email:


Lisa Barwick, WMG, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 524721 or 07824 540845


PR119 PJD 11th June 2015