Aston University launches INDEX innovation voucher scheme

4 September 2007 – for immediate release

You are invited to join some of the region’s most innovative businesses at the Innovation Winner Voucher Breakfast Launch (INDEX programme) this Thursday (06/09/07) at Aston Business School in Birmingham.

Breakfast will be served between 8.00am and 10.00am and you will have the opportunity to speak with some of the most forward looking businesses, along with some of the academics who will be helping them to develop their ideas with world class thinking. Please join us.

40 Midlands Companies Receive £3000 for Innovation

The INDEX Programme - which was created to form a positive link between small and medium sized companies and Universities/ Higher Education Institutions is set to present forty £3000 innovation vouchers to local businesses this Thursday during a special breakfast at Aston Business School. The £240,000 programme is a first in the UK.

The INDEX – INnovaton Delivers EXpansion – project, funded by the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will allow the businesses to gain access to leading expertise at one of the participating organisations, who will work with them to generate real innovation for a particular project.

Most of the forty businesses will be represented at the breakfast presentation, including the ones detailed below, who will be available for interview, and who can outline the innovations they would like to make and the benefits they expect to bring. These include projects as diverse as childhood obesity, theft of fuel from commercial vehicles, the use of bio fuels and the removal of chemicals from a leading food preparation product.

Public Management Associates

Public Management Associates (PMA) is a research and training organisation specialising in the fields of public health and health inequalities. The company’s latest project involves developing a ‘tool kit’ to help combat childhood obesity nationwide.

The funding from the INDEX voucher scheme will allow them to draw on expertise from Applied Research Centre in Health and Lifestyles Interventions at Coventry University and conduct qualitative research into why services work well in some communities but not in others. The ‘tool kit’ will help service providers optimize existing interventions by matching them to the specific needs of their communities. The project will be carried out over the next 18 months.

TJ Composting

Work with local authorities and waste management companies to provide environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to waste problems, reducing greenhouse gas generation and adding valuable carbon back into the soil by composting over 55,000 tonnes of material each year. They will be using their INDEX voucher to investigate using bio-diesel instead of fossil fuels to drive their equipment and will also be looking at ways of harnessing the heat energy generated by the composting process. It is thought that heat energy production is likely to be several Kw per tonne, which has clear potential societal benefits.

Drywhite Ltd

A Black Country business who want to develop the formulation of their major product that is used in the frying industry to prevent chipped potatoes discolouring before frying.

Viper Guard

A company specialising in security products for the transport industry who would like to develop an engineered product to prevent the theft of fuel from commercial vehicles, including pilfering by drivers and staff.


For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with the companies, please contact Paul Burkwood on 0121 204 4258 or email p.burkwood@aston.ac.uk.

Please RSVP to 0121 204 3883 or m.posiadly@aston.ac.uk to reserve your breakfast.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research