Demonstrating technology in action to stimulate ideas among SMEs
LJMU engineering and technology experts proved that ‘demonstration is key to stimulating ideas’ as they invited 70 businesses from across Cheshire and Warrington onto campus to see research, simulation and innovation facilities.
The Faculty of Engineering and Technology, a key partner in the Cheshire and Warrington 4.0 (CW4.0) programme, opened its doors to highlight how collaboration with higher education institutions can be transformative for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Anthony Walker, LJMU Strategic Manager for the CW4.0 project, said: “The CW4.0 project looks at challenges through the lens of an engineer and our hands on, practical support provides solutions that are relevant and crucial to help industrial SMEs realise their growth potential.
“We know that demonstration is key to stimulating ideas, so inviting businesses in to see first-hand our world class assets and facilities, could be just the springboard that they need to begin to solve the 21st Century challenges they find themselves facing.”
One business that has already benefited from using LJMU’s facilities to develop its technologies, is Endo Enterprises who develop products aimed at reducing energy consumption in wet heating systems.
Their Research and Development Manager, Dr Andrew Williams, shared how the company successfully used LJMU’s exemplar houses on campus to evidence the potential of their products and how this has helped them to reach new clients in the domestic market.
Attendees toured the facilities, saw demonstrations from other businesses who have already benefitted from innovative collaboration with LJMU staff and students, and heard from Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Ndy Ekere.
Collaboration with The Business Desk
Regional business news outlet, The Business Desk, met with businesses who have already benefited from the programme, alongside LJMU experts at the event, to share the stories of success so far with other SMEs across the region.
Read The Business Desk report into how LJMU is supporting businesses to exploit the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
CW4.0 was created to help manufacturing businesses to seize opportunities for growth and investment through the adoption of digital technology. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), CW4.0 collaborates with leading universities, like LJMU, and industry experts to create better access to advanced and world-class facilities.
The initiative follows on from its sister project LCR4.0 which has already unleashed the transformational potential of Industry 4.0, often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. That project delivered support to over 300 companies and was widely recognised as a national example of best practice.
SMEs on the project implemented new processes and innovations in their business, brought 57 new products to market and created 125 new jobs. A total of 248 manufacturing SMEs were also able to enter into research and development collaborations with universities, many for the first time.
CW4.0 is fully funded project with no cost to eligible SMEs. Any business looking to get involved with the LJMU collaboration should email Paula Brennan.
CW4.0 brings together the combined expertise and capabilities of the Virtual Engineering Centre (University of Liverpool), Liverpool John Moores University, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Northern Automotive Alliance.