Aston University is involved in proposals to build a national centre for supply chain innovation in Derby as part of a £40m government project to develop business and manufacturing.
Focused on the competitiveness and growth of companies in the “trains, planes and automobiles” supply chains, the £40m Regional Grant Funded government project will help companies boost their competitiveness with the help of university research, training and advice, supported by grants and loans from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund.
The proposed Centre for supply chain innovation, involving Aston University and University of Derby, would form part of a new ‘Innovation Campus’ being built as part of a new 215 acre business park next to Rolls-Royce headquarters - bringing together expertise in academic research and development alongside business.A total of £20m will be spent on the overall business park scheme, which would focus on science and technology industries. The remaining £20m of the Regional Growth Fund money is being spent by Derby City Council on business support that will create 27 new businesses and 3,000 new jobs.
Professor Tim Baines’ team at Aston Business School – already delivering a European Regional Development Fund programme to transform 400 West Midlands SMEs will lead the outreach programme to develop business expertise in ‘servitization’. This emerging competitive strategy is helping manufacturers to increase their competitiveness, growth, profits and resilience by offering advanced services related to their products. One of the leading proponents of this business model is Rolls-Royce, based in Derby. Companies will also be able to access engineering expertise at Aston University with Aston also brokering further relationships with other universities.
Objectives behind the Regional Growth Fund include strengthening links between companies, improving their innovation potential; supporting diversification into new markets, and the creation of new business opportunities.
Derby City Council leader, Councillor Paul Bayliss, said; “The aim would be to bring together expertise in research and development opportunities for firms that work in engineering sectors. Plans to create a global Technology Cluster and Innovation Campus in particular are essential for Derby and the UK’s manufacturing future and for the creation of jobs.”
Patrick Keen from Aston Business School’s Operations & Information Management Group, who has been working on the Innovation Campus project team, said; “The new Centre should provide a fantastic opportunity for manufacturers in the region to get practical support to invest in the right technology, skills and business model. Derby is home to some world class companies and some, like Rolls-Royce, have blazed a trail by adding value through service. Our mission, at Aston Business School, is to help more manufacturers understand and benefit from servitization, and I’m delighted that Derby City Council and Central Government have recognised the potential and are exploiting it through this project partnership.”
For further information on working in partnership with Aston University contact the Business Partnership Unit on 0121 204 4542 or contact Emma Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org.