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Coventry Intern Cuts Up Mini to help Warwickshire company shine in Germany

danUniversity of Warwick student Dan Beddow is one of 18 talented graduates and students from across the West Midlands region who have just helped local Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a variety of industry challenges thanks to a scheme run by the ERDF funded International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at WMG at the University of Warwick.

SMEs in the West Midlands region benefitted from a funded internship programme to support innovative projects in their businesses. Projects included the development of digital marketing strategies, development of new technical services, implementation of new product lines, materials testing and product design.

One of the SMEs to benefit was Rugby’s Automotive Insulations Ltd (AI Ltd), specialists in the design and manufacture of innovative noise reduction systems and thermal management solutions. They took on two interns, Dan Beddow, an Engineering student from the University of Warwick, who lives in Coventry’s Tile Hill area, and Sarah McDougall a Chemistry student from the University of Central Lancashire. Sarah spent time testing the viability of a number of new materials ready to go into production and Dan worked on an exhibition demonstrator project for the IZB exhibition in Germany resulting in a cut away of a MINI Cooper that showcased all of AI’s products in one vehicle and an innovative touch screen system for visitors at the exhibition to use.

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Paul Neale, Sales Manager at AI Ltd said: “We wouldn't have been able to do the projects without Sarah and Dan. They were both so motivated and talented. We have a one off exhibition piece that is going to be fantastic in Germany and Sarah has helped to develop materials that are now being supplied into the Swedish auto market.”

Dan Beddow said “Undertaking this internship has broadened my knowledge of working in an SME organisation. I was given a great opportunity to be creative and apply my new engineering skills. I now understand some of the challenges that the automotive industry faces which will stand me in good stead for future work.”

Another 12 companies in the West Midlands benefited from the programme including Ember Television who took on Aston University student Kamara Bennett to drive forward their social media activity and Rant & Rave who took on University of Warwick graduate Hong Zhou to develop a new analytics service.

Mark Swift, Head of SME Programmes at WMG said: “Small businesses are now starting to recover following a deep and hard hitting recession. There is now a chronic shortage of skills within the small businesses sector however I’m encouraged by the work our interns are implementing to introduce new innovation into industry. We have been impressed by their calibre and hard work and we are delighted that SMEs in the region are benefiting from University talent in the UK and creating much needed new jobs on the back of the scheme.”

Any SME wanting more information about the range of support that WMG offers SMEs in the region can visit: www.warwick.ac.uk/iipsi

 

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick

Tel: 024 76523708, Cell: 07767 655860

Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708, Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

Twitter @peterjdunn

or

Lisa Barwick, WMG, University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 524721 or 07824 540845
L.Barwick@warwick.ac.uk

PJD 28th October 2014

 

 

 

 

Further Information:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick

Tel: 024 76523708, Cell: 07767 655860

Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708, Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

Twitter @peterjdunn

or

Lisa Barwick, WMG, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 524721 or 07824 540845 L.Barwick@warwick.ac.uk