Published on 24/06/2022
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Think Beyond Data project shortlisted for Tech Innovation Champion award
  • The project is one of five finalists shortlisted from hundreds of nominations
  • Think Beyond Data provides tailored artificial intelligence support to SMEs to help them improve their businesses
  • The award winner will be announced at a black-tie dinner on 15 September.

Aston University’s Think Beyond Data project has been shortlisted for the Tech Innovation Champion award in the prestigious Innovation Awards 2022.

The Innovation Awards recognise, celebrate and reward the businesses, organisations and individuals who are dedicated to innovation.  

The Think Beyond data project offers tailored solutions for local SMEs. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the team uses artificial intelligence and expertise in machine learning, optimisation, data visualisation and analytics to help business to grow. This can include assisting SMEs to automate and scale their processes, find more efficient solutions and gain new insights and a deeper understanding of their business. 

The project is one of only five finalists shortlisted from hundreds of nominations from Technology Supply Chain members.

Brendan Poynton, Think Beyond Data’s business development manager, attended the finalist interviews with the judging panel at Millennium Point on Wednesday 22 June.

On being shortlisted for the award, Brendan said: 
“Businesses may be considering artificial intelligence but are unsure where to start, or maybe have already invested in new technologies but don’t have the skilled people they need to get the most out of them. This is where we come in. 

“We are working with companies across a wide range of sectors to find practical, real solutions to their problems by using artificial intelligence. 

“The team is delighted to see our work recognised by being shortlisted for the Tech Innovation Champion award.”

The overall winner will be announced at a black-tie awards ceremony at Millennium Point in Birmingham on Thursday 15 September. 

The event is backed by Make UK, Tech Nation, the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, Medilink, Coventry University, BCU, Catax, Starting Point Recruitment, Success CXP, Aston University and the University of Wolverhampton.  

The keynote speaker is Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business.

Find out more about the Think Beyond Data project, including case studies of businesses who have benefited from its support, by visiting

Notes to editors

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7825 342091 or email

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