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Work begins on £5 million product powerhouse for £12 million innovation programme

International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI)Work is soon to begin to build a £5 million home at the University of Warwick for a £12 million programme designed to help Midlands SMEs access some of the world's leading product and service design technology.

The Coleshill office of Willmott Dixon has been chosen to undertake the £5 million project to house the new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at WMG at the University of Warwick. The company’s surveyors were on site for the first time this week.

The building is part of a £12 million programme 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 full £12 million programme will help Midlands SMEs access some of the world's leading product and service design technology. 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.

Willmot Dixon, Design Co-ordinatorThe 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.

Mark Foley, Head of ERDF Programme West Midlands said:

“The Institute represents a pro-active approach to firstly connect with regional SMEs and make them aware of the technological support available, and then equip them to apply the knowledge they can learn through the Institute directly back into their own businesses. Supporting SMEs to develop is a key driver for the ERDF Programme and the start of the work on the site marks the first step to delivering this vital support”.

Nick Heath, Operations Director for Willmott Dixon, said:

“We are pleased and excited to be involved in the new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation project, which is located close to our Midlands office. One key element of our approach is our commitment to using local supply chains, wherever possible, to ensure that local economies reap the benefits of major capital schemes in their midst. The size and nature of this project makes it ideal to utilise Midlands based SME’s, which we will do wherever possible.”

Willmot Dixon

Ravneet Singh, of Willmott Dixon, Steve Brown, Structural Engineer at CTM, Willmott Dixon construction manager Roger Winfer, Peter Winters, from Jacobs Engineering, Jacobs Engineering's Roland Bunce, Nick Heath, Willmott Dixon's Operations Director, Steve Walker, Estates Office, Lee Melling, from Jacobs Engineering, and Architect Lara Michael. Front - Keith Merritt, Willmott Dixon's Design Coordinator

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

PR90 21st June 2011