Business Engagement Good News Stories



Transforming Business: Business Engagement’s Sponsorship of the CBI 2017 Annual Conference

Driving innovative collaborations’ is the strapline of the Business Engagement team; and innovation was at the heart of our decision be the sole Higher Education sponsor of the 2017 Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Annual Conference, which was held at the Inter-Continental Hotel in London on 6 November.

Raising the profile of the University’s offer to business, in particular that of the Business Engagement team, was a key driver in partnering with the CBI. Creating excitement and interest around the research capabilities of the University was another primary goal: having quality, engaging conversations with senior executives of UK businesses that would in turn lead to income-generating partnerships.    

Creating a strong, professional, and cohesive offer for business was key. Working collaboratively across the University’s Colleges and Professional Service teams we created the ‘10 ways we’re transforming business’ campaign. Dialogue with academic leads, centre managers and communication teams was vital in ensuring the campaign had a sense of ownership and pride across the University. The ‘10 ways’ highlights key strategic projects and institutes at the University that are having a direct and positive impact on business. From: the partnership in banking, with the Lloyds Centre for Responsible Business; through to creating end user application of Quantum Technologies; and our continued focus on creating the workforce of the future through our degree apprenticeships, the ‘10 ways’ takes a holistic view of our academic expertise.

We worked with a professional exhibition designer to create an engaging stand for the University, which played host to hydrogen powered remote control cars from our School of Chemical Engineering. The stand, located in the main conference hall, was a striking piece of engineering that attracted delegates and showed the professionalism of the University. The stand was complemented by an attractive suite of marketing materials including an animation of the ‘10 ways’, bespoke project fact sheets, and exhibition banners. Throughout the day we held a private lunch for delegates, hosted an insight seminar on responsible business, and interacted with the global media.

Our sponsorship of the Conference raised the profile of the University and Business Engagement team and positioned us an innovative HE institution. 

For more information about the ‘10 ways’ please visit our website or get in touch with team to find out how we can collaborate to transform your business. 

10 Ways We’re Transforming Business - youtube video

 Tim Softely speaks at CBITim Softely speaks at CBI 2017 Annual Conference

stand 3

University signs partnership with BAE Systems

The Business Engagement team have led on the development of a strategic relationship with technology giant BAE Systems which has recently led to the two organisations entering into a formal partnership.

The strategic framework agreement will strengthen the two organisations existing relationships in research, education and consultancy.

The University of Birmingham is one of the first institutions to secure the agreement as part of BAE System's review of university partnerships.

Professor Andy Schofield, the University's Pro Vice Chancellor of Engineering, said: "The University has taken a major step forward in strengthening its long-standing relationship with BAE Systems.

"Our partnerships with industry are key to delivering our strategy and this agreement will support the continued growth of this relationship over the coming years. We look forward to working more closely together on exciting research and innovation to achieve even greater mutual benefits."

The University of Birmingham and BAE Systems have worked together for a number of years. Notable projects include strategic manufacturing technology research SAMULET and ORCHID, which looks at how humans and computers can improve interaction.

Jennifer Osbaldestin, Managing Director of BAE Systems, added: "Partnerships like these are great news for BAE Systems and the wider UK engineering industry, so we are delighted to agree this strategic framework for working more closely with the University of Birmingham."

Cross University Project Team sets sights on Qatar

A team of Professional Services staff from across the University have been working in partnership to develop a series of investment and philanthropic opportunities for businesses, high net worth individuals, and the government in Qatar.

The team, being led by colleagues from DARO, Research and Innovation Services and Business Engagement, alongside the University senior team, academics and colleagues in external relations and special collections, have developed a series of pitch books around the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript and the Mingana Collection, and the University’s Life Sciences and Energy Capital offers.

The main driver for this activity is a joint 'Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum' on 27 and 28 March to secure investment across the UK. This will be the biggest business and investment forum ever between the two countries and is led by both governments.

The City of Birmingham will host the second day of the Forum, where UK firms, and the University, will showcase high-profile 'investment-ready' projects. We have secured significant UoB presence at the conference (the only University to have our own exhibition space) including three showcases covering Life Science, Energy Capital, and a digital exhibition of the Birmingham Qur’an. The Vice-Chancellor will also deliver a key note speech to conference to open the Education breakout session. In addition the VC and Sue Worrall will host an exclusive private viewing of the Birmingham Qur’an for UK and Qatari VVIPs.

The event will bring together ministers and senior government representatives from Qatar and the UK including the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox and the Minister of Finance His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi. Hundreds of high-profile businesses executives, council leaders and academics are also expected to attend across the two days.

The Forum will culminate in a formal dinner at the Town Hall on 28 March, which the University is sponsoring. There will be live music performances from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The University has also been working with colleagues at Marketing Birmingham and the City Council on a post-event programme which will be delivered for a smaller Qatari delegation on 29 March to showcase the University’s Life Sciences offer to potential investors.

This project has been a real cross-cutting effort from colleagues across the University. It is the first project of its kind that the University has embarked on and is a testament to the collective strength of the Professional Services teams involved in the delivery, particularly given the challenges faced in managing and influencing the large number of external stakeholders involved. 

GSK collaborations expanding across themes

The MDS business engagement team are developing a significant and impactful relationship with leading pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, who are collaborating with academics across a range of disciplines. Funding for a variety of collaborative research projects, clinical trials and PhD studentships has been secured in recent years. The collaborative research projects include research into toothpastes and toothbrushes, an anti-cancer target, oral Human Papilloma Virus, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and, most recently, the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome.

The project on Sjogren’s syndrome is being investigated in animal models by a team led by Dr Francesca Barone, a senior lecturer and ARUK Senior Fellow based in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing. In addition to this collaborative work, GSK are now placing one of their postdoctoral researchers in Dr Barone’s lab for a two-year period to strengthen the partnership.  




Professional Services