Universities across the Midlands announce new international campaign to attract global R&D investment to the UK

November 27, 2023

To coincide with this week’s UK Global Investment Summit, the Midlands Engine Partnership, Midlands Innovation and Midlands Enterprise Universities have today [27 November] launched an innovative new campaign to drive international investment into research and development across the Midlands.

With support from the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology’s Tactical Fund, the GREAT Campaign, UK Research and Innovation and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the coalition of seventeen universities have published prospectuses highlighting four sectors where our region has internationally outstanding research and development investment capabilities.

These showcases, produced by the Universities as drivers of trade and investment Pilot, will form the basis of a concerted campaign from the region’s universities to working together to leverage their global connections in order to support growth in their local economies.

Through pioneering co-location, joint research and technology demonstrators, universities in the Midlands have long redefined how academia works in partnership with industry.

With more than 19,000 researchers at institutions from Warwick to Nottingham, Birmingham to Lincoln, universities in the Midlands are world-renowned for their strengths in science, research and innovation across four key sectors: Agri-tech, Health & Life Sciences, Transport Technology, and Zero Carbon Energy. A Creative and Digital Industries prospectus will also be launched early next year.

For the first time the Midlands’ collective university research power is being showcased as investment propositions in four sector prospectuses, produced in partnership with the UK Government and local partners. These prospectuses highlight breadth and depth of innovation opportunities for businesses and funds seeking to invest in a partnership with a university in the Midlands.

A key part of the flagship Universities as Drivers of Foreign Direct Investment  programme supported by Midlands Engine, UKRI and DSIT, these prospectuses will initially be used to engage investors in the USA, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea, through overseas missions and leveraging universities international research, partnerships and alumni networks.

Over time this campaign is set to expand and present the Midlands’ exceptional strengths in further sectors to more key markets and be used to attract companies from around the world to invest in and partner with our universities, accessing the vast talent pool and world leading assets in the Midlands.

Roger Mendonca, Chief Executive, Midlands Engine Partnership, commented:

“Midlands Engine partners are delighted to support this flagship pilot showcasing our region’s formidable R&D capability in full for the first time. This is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to drive high-value investment into the Midlands and champion our region’s world-leading innovation centres on the global stage.”

Universities as Drivers of Trade and Investment Programme Director, Alex Favier said:

“As the world’s leading investors attend the UK’s Global Investment Summit, universities across the Midlands have come together to highlight the internationally outstanding research and development investment opportunities across our region. If you’re a business seeking to co-locate a new R&D team on or near one of our campuses; access unique science facilities or testing equipment; undertake joint research or just connect to the thriving eco-system of talent and innovation that flows between our institutions – then these prospectuses are for you.

“Across the four sectors highlighted by the materials, Universities across the Midlands work collaboratively to share resources, access funding and attract world-leading researchers. Our collaboration, complementarity and connections can become your competitive advantage.”

Download the prospectuses


Midlands Innovation (MI) is a partnership of eight research-intensive universities in the Midlands region of England: Aston University, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, and University of Warwick

Midlands Enterprise Universities (MEU) is a group of universities with a common mission to support economic growth and innovation in the region. These are Birmingham City University, Coventry University, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University, Staffordshire University, University of Derby, University of Lincoln, and University of Wolverhampton. MEU offers a wide range of programs and initiatives to support students, researchers, and entrepreneurs in the Midlands.

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