University of Birmingham

KE Team of the Year Finalist: Unlocking the power of co-creation and collaboration: the Business Engagement team at the University of Birmingham

The Business Engagement Team.

The Business Engagement (BE) team is an award winning, best-in-class knowledge exchange unit within the University of Birmingham (UoB), developing industry relationships and promoting collaborative partnerships between business and academia. Team growth over the last three years demonstrates the strong, positive benefits for business and academia in our approach to drive innovation, growing from 12 staff in December 2015 to 23 today.

The team initiates and develops relationships with companies who could benefit from the University’s research and innovation. We provide a bespoke and specific pathway, ensuring that the partnership with UoB is fully supported, for the best experience and outcomes for all stakeholders. We support a range of engagements, from non-financial activity, working with companies to exchange ideas through events and lectures, through to multi-million research awards and establishing Research Centres.

This academic year, the BE team has engaged with almost 350 unique companies, with the vast majority being large corporate partners. Some highlights:

  • July 2018: Sam Hickman, BE Partner won Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) Connect+Develop award, for his instrumental role in growing the P&G and UoB relationship.

  • February 2019: Richard Fox, Strategic BE Partner won a Chairman’s award from BAE Systems, based on their successful Academia Innovation Framework.

The team works closely with alumni relations and research support services to unlock the power of co-creation and collaboration, winning multi-million pound industry awards for Research Centres that benefit from strong philanthropic elements and close ties to government bodies. It is the power of networking and connecting that unlocks potential and leads to large-scale strategic opportunities.

The team continues to innovate in HEI business engagement – e.g. allocating resource as the first and sole HEI sponsor of the annual CBI conference in 2018 and 2019, with fantastic results.

University of Birmingham and Business with Birmingham logos.