Birmingham City University plays a number of key roles in the development of the creative economy within the Cross Innovation partnership and works as a catalyst to bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the marketplace, by working with regional businesses, to encourage cross-sector partnerships; stimulate collaborative projects; promote collective strengths and embed enterprise into curriculum.

We see ourselves as leverage to the region’s existing brand capital and cultural heritage, providing business support and promotion, to help position innovation and entrepreneurial collaboration at the heart of the region’s growth strategy and economic success.

The University develops entrepreneurs at all levels and has a particular focus on the interface between knowledge and creative practice, and through the brokerage role we actively sustain linkages between the companies. With the curriculum itself, there is a focus on integrating learning with creative practice and through knowledge transfer and a collaborative philosophy with the City Council works to enhance cluster development, involving creative Industries and how services can be better designed in other growth sectors.

Birmingham has a wide range of creative and cultural organisations, from high-profile performing arts companies, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the CBSO to established media firms like Maverick to award-winning design agencies such as Clusta and Substrakt, accounting for a significant slice of the city’s employment and business numbers.

Key areas we have identified are in digital media, innovative healthcare and low carbon, where there is a clear divide of understanding and divide of technology that needs bridging to allow for technological innovations to be enhanced and adapted to address everyday business and community challenges.

The University will be launching a series of events focused on supporting Birmingham’s Creative Industries to build strategic links with other areas of private business and the public sector, to encourage a healthy innovation ecosystem that will continue to generate valuable ideas.

Some of Birmingham key competitive strengths highlighted in the recent Creative City report as follows:

  • Six million visitors a year, generating some £750 million a year
  • 40% of all UK conference business
  • Produces 50% of the UK’s jewellery and 40% of total employment in the sector
  • Nearly two thirds of all media activity in the West Midlands, 60% of craft organisations, 40% of literature and drama and major broadcasters all operate from the city.
  • Birmingham had much scope for growth especially in the screen-based digital media sub-sector,
  • The creation of small and medium sized companies in these industries to create a real scale of activity on a par with London.
  • The focused development of product innovation and the technical ability to support it within the city
  • The growth of Birmingham as a learning city with an intensive stream of learning directed into these industries, particularly in ICT and business skills

Birmingham Team is:
Steve Harding, Tom Cahill-Jones, Sara Middleton, Alexa Hartwell, Paul Long, Karen Edwards and Pam Coles.

Relevant links:

Mrs Alexa Hartwell
New Technology Institute
+44 0121 202 4817