COLLABORATION

University of Birmingham’s ATETA supports R&D growth of over 100 SMEs

SOURCE: Razvan Chisu/Unsplash
SMEs can benefit from the university's state-of-the-art research facilities.

The University of Birmingham has successfully supported over 100 SME companies through their government-funded engagement programme that has generated a net income of almost £25 million for the regional economy. 

The engagement programme, dubbed Accelerating Thermal Energy Adoption (ATETA), was funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

It gives businesses who are eligible for the programme access to the university’s state-of-the-art research facilities and expertise. The programme supports these businesses with the opportunity to test new technologies and applications. 

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The programme provides free access to the university’s team of Knowledge Exchange Fellow’s (KEFs) who will help businesses improve efficiency, identify new market prospects, and test and demonstrate new ideas. 

Ultimately, ATETA’s support will contribute to the business growth of SMEs that are active in the Greater Birmingham Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area

ATETA also aims to promote research and innovation in the adoption of low carbon technologies. 

According to a recent assessment of the programme by EPM Consultancy, 74 percent of the businesses it supported have been able to commercialise a new product or service. 

The assessment also reported a net economic impact which equated to  £24,796,000.

ATETA
The project has helped many SMEs kickstart their ideas into the market. Source: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

“The ATETA project offered us a great opportunity to gain valuable contacts in the industry, collaborating with world-renowned academics and inspired us to create an Innovation Hub,” said Tyseley Energy Park Director David Horsfall who spoke about the support his company gained from the ATETA programme. 

“ATETA project provided us a thorough report which helped us to understand the impact of new legislation on our market. It provided evidence for us. We are now responding to a consultation based on the findings. It will assist us in growing the market for solar PV,” added Eco2Solar Founder and CEO Paul Hutchens, another recipient of ATETA’s support.

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Addressing the project’s success in supporting more than 100 companies in under two years, ATETA Business Engagement Manager David Terry said, “we are delighted that the success of our work with regional businesses has made such an impact to the regional economy. ATETA is an excellent project that can help businesses adopt new technology and overcome energy-related challenges and we look forward to continuing our work with SME’s.”

ATETA will be organising an event on February 25 entitled “Energy Opportunities for West Midlands Industry”. 

Any SME’s who wish to find out more about participating in the programme and receiving ATETA’s support are welcomed to find out more at this event.