University announces trio of new business collaborations

Business Partnerships news

Birmingham City University has announced three new business collaborations aimed at driving growth and innovation.

The University has formally signed agreements with the trio of organisations, which will see the University’s academics work alongside tech firms to develop new ideas and innovative solutions to the challenges they face.

The arrangements, known as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, have been penned with cloud computing and cybersecurity firm MetCloud; GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Shopper Science Lab; and cloud and managed services company FourNet.

The new projects aim to help the organisations develop innovative new approaches to improve their services.

Each collaboration will have a different focus, with the aims being:

  • MetCloud: To make intelligent enhancements to METCloud’s technology base that will enable them to offer their customers increased security in the face of an ever more sophisticated cyber-threat
  • GSK: Research to examine how Augmented Reality could change the face of consumer healthcare by analysing how and why consumers select specific healthcare products
  • FourNet: Project designed to explore ways to enhance contact centre services using Artificial Intelligence technology.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are part of a government scheme to help businesses innovate and grow by gaining new skills and research thinking from an academic or research organisation.

In these link-ups, the university employs a graduate or postgraduate to work on site with the company, jointly supervised by company and university staff.

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “Collaborating with businesses is a central function of the work of our University and has an important role to play in promoting the economic recovery in the West Midlands and beyond.

“Working in partnership with business leaders provides a platform for our academics to solve real-world issues which are facing organisations in a range of fields, and these three new partnerships are testament to that.”

“Having recently been recognised for our work enterprise, contribution to skills, and support for local growth and regeneration in Knowledge Exchange Framework, we will continue to build on this success with future collaborations like these.”

Ian Vickers, CEO of MetCloud, said: “Physical, economic, psychological, reputational, social and societal harm can all result from cyber-attacks.

“The continual drive towards ubiquitous connectivity and digitalisation will therefore lead to increased frequency and impact of cyberattacks. Our successful KTP project award with BCU aims to create an advanced cybersecurity capability harnessing AI/ML and analytics to significantly enhance the detection and response to cyberattacks and ultimately minimise harm.

“The calibre of the BCU KTP Team during the submission stage and since has been immense. It is no wonder that BCU have been highly successful in winning so many KTP awards.”