Birmingham university launches partnership with German research organisation

Birmingham City University and the Fraunhofer Society have announced a strategic partnership to deliver a new model of research innovation.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the UK university and German organisation will be signed later today and will see the partners work together to advance their relationship in international research.

Employing more than 24,000 staff, Fraunhofer is Europe‘s largest organisation for applied research, with efforts geared entirely towards health, security, communication, energy and the environment.

Professor Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University said: “Birmingham City University is delighted to be establishing this formal relationship with one of Europe‘s best known applied research organisations, which aligns so well with our mission and values – it builds on our groundbreaking STEAMHouse initiative; putting creativity and design at the heart of innovation and productivity.“

The international and interdisciplinary team of experts at the Leipzig-based Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (IMW), combines its expertise to answer questions relating to knowledge and technology transfer, corporate development in international competition, sustainability management and infrastructure economics.

As part of the partnership signed today, this international capability will be married with Birmingham City University‘s applied research strengths across the creative industries, social sciences, architecture and urban development, transport and mobility, cyber security and digital technologies.

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced that it will be contributing £14m to help transform the former Typhoo tea factory in Birmingham into a collaborative innovation centre – STEAMHouse – for solving the challenges facing SMEs in the West Midlands region.

Forming part of STEAMhouse, the Birmingham City University-Fraunhofer IMW partnership will deliver a new model of pan-regional innovation, build research excellence and create a platform for international market development.

Professor Dr. Thorsten Posselt, director of the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, said: “We know how technology development and transfer work. As an integral part of Fraunhofer, our practically-oriented research and our solutions are always focused on finding solutions for specific problems in business, politics and society. Together with our partners we aim to identify, to tap new markets and to ensure the competitiveness of German and European companies.”


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