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Bruntwood SciTech to build new tech accelerator in Birmingham

5 January 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Bruntwood SciTech to build new tech accelerator in Birmingham

In a programme funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Bruntwood SciTech has partnered with Birmingham City Council and Birmingham City University to deliver a new tech accelerator designed to boost local procurement opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs from the city’s burgeoning tech cluster.

Potential applicants to the new programme ‘Digital Innovation in Public Services’ (DIPS) are now being sought to develop tech-enabled solutions to address one of five key city challenges set out by Birmingham City Council. The challenges cover planning and consultation processes, demand and transportation of food, transformation of the city’s mobility hubs, and two adult social care challenges.

Successful applicants will work on the challenges identified by the partnership while gaining six months’ free access to Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus that offers hotdesks, collaboration and meeting space, funding advice, workshops and events, as well as one of the most established tech and digital communities in the UK.

Bruntwood SciTech has also recently expanded its team of tech industry experts to mentor those who join the programme, alongside additional accelerator and business support programmes currently offered at the campus. These include Serendip, offered in partnership with HS2, BNP Paribas and Supertech WM - The UK’s only Tech supercluster superrich and the Global Growth Programme being run in conjunction with West Midlands Growth Company.

The experienced team now includes Dr Karthik Thangaraj, an experienced research engineer and former senior research fellow at the University of Birmingham. The programme will also be supported by external mentor Debbie Assinder, West Midlands enterprise champion at Enterprise Nation, who has more than 20 years’ experience supporting early stage startups.

Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General, anticipates a range of applicants, from early stage start-ups and university R&D spin offs to individuals working in app development. Applications for the accelerator programme will close on 6th January 2023 and should be made through the Bruntwood SciTech website here.

Katharine Fuller is head of innovation services at Innovation Birmingham, which offers coworking, office space and business support for digital and tech businesses. The campus is already home to over 170 forward-thinking companies and is the home of 5pring, part of the West Midlands 5G Accelerator.

Katherine said: “DIPS provides a new mechanism to drive innovation and new technologies in public sector procurement through early engagement with innovative SMEs developing products that deliver on specific public sector challenges. This new accelerator will harness demand for innovation, facilitate a better process for the public and private sectors to come together to develop new solutions, and stimulate growth in the local economy.”

Located alongside Aston and Birmingham City Universities, businesses who join the accelerator at Innovation Birmingham will have access to Bruntwood SciTech’s sector specialist business support, including access to funding, highly skilled talent, new markets, and a large partner network.

They will also join a specialist community of over 500 science and technology companies in the Bruntwood SciTech network across the UK who they will have access to, to make new connections and collaborate with, ranging from startups to international global companies. Creating specialist environments and innovation ecosystems for such businesses to form, scale, collaborate and grow, Bruntwood SciTech now has 11 campuses in seven UK cities, which in addition to Birmingham includes Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Cambridge.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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