West Midlands Innovation
About the West Midlands Innovation Accelerator
Announced in the Government’s 2022 Levelling up White Paper, The West Midlands Innovation Accelerator serves the purpose of forging a new co-design relationship between the region and Government, ensuring the region benefits from the commitment to increase in overall UK public Research and Development (R&D) funding to £20bn by 2024/5.
The Innovation Accelerator will be funded through a share of a new £100m fund, to be divided by three regional Innovation Accelerators over the next three years, to bolster the region’s innovation and R&D capability and capacity to spark commercial growth and investment.
“To accelerate the growth of regional clusters of excellence in HealthTech & MedTech and CleanTech, delivered through the exploitation of applied and translational research; the application of regional strengths in engineering, manufacturing and advanced computing; and supported by a robust regional innovation framework”.
The Innovation Accelerator will be used to accelerate our region’s engineering R&D and Innovation strengths that lie at the very heart of our universities, economy and our manufacturing supply chains, pivoting them to springboard the growth industries of the future. By precision-injection of resources and expertise into just the right economic spaces we will stimulate and mobilise vibrant clusters of highest growth potential as force multipliers.
The West Midlands Innovation Accelerator will:
- be focused on specific clusters of comparative advantage identified in the West Midlands Plan for Growth.
- support cross-sector R&D and innovation. This means using the region’s strengths in R&D – particularly in engineering and advanced manufacturing – but helping to stimulate applied and translational R&D in diversified fields and grow private R&D investment.
- position the region on the global scale as a beacon for Foreign Direct Investment.
- provide a sustainable framework for building innovation capability and capacity.
- be driven by market demand with strong private sector business leadership.
Forming the Innovation Accelerator
Learn more about the programme
Regional Strategic Prioritisation Criteria
Regional Strategic Prioritisation Criteria Learn about our strategic aims
Innovation Accelerator Q&A
Innovation Accelerator Q&A Learn more about the Innovation Accelerator
6D-IA, led by the University of Birmingham (Health/Med Tech)
The West Midlands ‘6D’ Innovation Accelerator (6D-IA), coordinated by the University of Birmingham, will unite key stakeholders (universities, hospitals, industry and government-funded ‘Catapults’ for manufacturing innovation) to supercharge the region’s ability to accelerate new health and medical technologies, delivering a streamlined programme to help companies navigate “pinch-points” in the process of medical translation.
The ‘6Ds’ include diagnosis of company needs; definition of major NHS and industry-based challenges to target; development and refinement of prototype products; deployment of innovation in real-world NHS settings; diversification of supply chains, skills and services; and demonstration of significant economic and health benefits for our region.
Discover how 6D-IA will supercharge new health and medical technologies
Clean Futures, led by Connected Places Catapult, in conjunction with Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation and Coventry University (Clean Tech)
Clean Futures will develop the West Midland's innovation ecosystem helping to drive economic growth, increase industry engagement and accelerate the commercialisation of SMEs in the region. Based from specialist hubs in Dudley and Coventry, the project will support the development and diversification of transport manufacturing supply chains in the West Midlands, enabling the transition from fossil-fuelled to clean-tech solutions. It will see SMEs supported through funding programmes to develop, demonstrate and grow clean-tech solutions in partnership with OEMs, Tier 1s and the wider ecosystem.
Clean Futures will provide a foundation for sustainability through the Clean Futures Academy, bringing together the West Midlands innovation community to support longer-term sustainability and social benefit. By bringing together the West Midlands innovation community, Clean Futures will drive jobs and growth, bringing new investment to the region and convening buyers and suppliers to tackle the challenges of clean transport.
Clean Futures Accelerator
Discover how Clean Futures will develop the region's innovation ecosystem
The West Midlands Innovation Programme, led by West Midlands Combined Authority (Clean Tech & Health Tech)
The West Midlands Innovation Programme addresses the Capability and Capacity strand of the West Midlands Innovation Accelerator, supporting cross-sector, demand-led innovation and enhancing the connectedness and operation of the region's innovation ecosystem. Led and managed by the West Midlands Combined Authority, enabling it to enhance other West Midlands Innovation Accelerator projects and wider regional innovation activity, and constructively interact with further regional growth levers.
West Midlands Innovation Programme unites a team of sector innovation experts under the banner of the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, bringing a strong private sector voice and capacity to identify and address business innovation barriers and enablers. The team will work with partners to utilise a flexible innovation fund to pilot the development of multiple novel, collaborative interventions that overcome barriers to and exploit opportunities for demand-led innovation within and between sectors. In addition, a series of diverse and inclusive sector specific working groups and events will enable networking, good practice sharing, connections and partnerships.
West Midlands Innovation Programme
Discover how the WM Innovation Programme improves capability and capacity for innovation
The Biochar Clean Tech Accelerator, led by Aston University (Clean Tech)
The Biochar Accelerator will build on research facilities at Aston University to develop growth potential targeting export contracts worth over £200 million of low carbon products produced by a regional industrial cluster.
The project aims to commercialise knowledge, facilities and the results of long-term university research for the benefit of the environment and regional economy; continue the development of a high-capacity low carbon engineering cluster in the West Midlands; open up new domestic and export markets to help rebuild engineering and manufacturing in the region; provide a development pathway from which to launch new technology-based opportunities as they reach maturity; and engage staff and students through projects and placements to seed further future commercial innovation.
Biochar CleanTech Accelerator
Discover how the Biochar Accelerator develops low-carbon products for export
Digital Innovation Transformative Change (DIATOMIC), led by Connected Places Catapult, in conjunction with Aston University, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City University, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, and University of Birmingham (Health & Clean Tech)
DIATOMIC will accelerate place-based innovation in the West Midlands. Harnessing the region's existing international relationships and through a series of targeted initiatives, it will focus on growing the region's clean tech, health tech and med tech markets. The programme is led by Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place leadership.
We will enable civic leaders to set innovation challenges, support local SMEs to respond and benefit the community through the UK's first inclusive innovation hub. It will also promote the use of data to enable better place-based decision making and develop an impact assessment toolkit.
Discover how the DIATOMIC Accelerator improves place-based innovation