Published on 23/11/2023
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Birmingham Innovation Quarter
Image: Howells
  • Government has announced that Birmingham will host one of three sites in the West Midlands Investment Zone
  • Professor Aleks Subic has welcomed the government’s backing for innovation in Birmingham  
  • The Investment Zone will attract significant government funding, as well as tax reliefs for businesses.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, has welcomed the announcement of the West Midlands Investment Zone in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement on 22 November.

The Investment Zone site in Birmingham encompasses the Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ) – a new innovation district catalysed by a Joint Venture between Aston University, Bruntwood SciTech and Birmingham City Council – which is located within the broader Birmingham Knowledge Quarter area of the city. 

The other two West Midlands Investment Zone sites will be located in Coventry and Wolverhampton. 

The West Midlands Investment Zone is one of 13 being developed in the UK. It will drive growth in advanced manufacturing, health and green tech. Investment Zones will attract significant government funding, as well as tax reliefs for businesses, to catalyse emerging innovation clusters and crowd in private sector investment. 

Professor Aleks Subic said:

“This is a hugely significant step in the development of the Birmingham Innovation Quarter. Its status as part of the West Midlands Investment Zone will crowd in additional investment and backing to the innovation district, helping B-IQ to realise its potential as a world-leading innovation ecosystem for learning, collaboration and technological discovery.” 

“Developing the B-IQ is a key part of Aston University’s 2030 strategy. B-IQ represents an innovation ecosystem that will co-locate industry, business, entrepreneurs and start-up founders together with staff and students from academia, bringing digital cutting-edge research into a range of sectors – most critically the health tech sector.”  

“It will become the catalyst for foreign investment, for business transformation, and for skills, and in turn will create socio-economic impact across the region.” 

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email:

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