Universities as drivers of trade and investment

A trail-blazing programme exploring how universities can drive foreign direct investment into regional research and development

Powering Growth

Driving International Trade

Led by Midlands Innovation and Midlands Enterprise Universities, a coalition of seventeen of the region’s universities, local economic growth partners (Midlands Engine, West Midlands Growth Company, LEPs) and national government, we have collectively developed the Universities as Drivers of Trade and Investment Programme.  

This is an ambitious programme of activity that both demonstrates and advocates for the role that universities can play in helping drive international trade and investment into their local and regional economies. Through global connections and linkages to the local innovation eco-system, universities can have a greater role in working with Government and local economic organisations to: 

  • Attract, retain and maximise Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into local and regional economies, particularly into R&D (supporting the Levelling-Up agenda) 
  • Increase FDI into university research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities (supporting the Science Superpower agenda). 

The pilot is co-funded by the universities, the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (via the Midlands Engine Partnership) and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (via their Tactical Fund). 

Downloads and resources

Download industry reports:

Frequently Asked Questions

The project seeks to support companies whether they are looking 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 the 17 institutions. 

Innovation super clusters in the Midlands have been identified in five sectors: Agritech, Health & Life Sciences, Transport Technology, Creative and Digital and Zero Carbon Energy 

Sector brochures have been produced for each area and form the basis of the campaign to promote R&D investment in the region. Download the brochures here. 

Investors in Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Japan and the USA will be engaged initially.

Read our Case Studies