Business schools unveil plans for enterprise research centre

Two Midlands university business schools have won a bid to create a research centre that the government hopes will boost the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK.

November 13, 2012

Warwick Business School and Aston Business School announced their plans to host the £2.9 million Enterprise Research Centre on 12 November as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The centre will carry out research aimed at driving government policy on SMEs and entrepreneurship, with funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the British Bankers Association the Economic and Social Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board.

Other universities including Strathclyde, Birmingham, De Montfort and Imperial College London will also be involved as part of a consortium.

Stephen Roper, associate dean and professor of enterprise at Warwick Business School, will become the new centre's director. He is already director of Warwick's Centre for SMEs.

"As researchers involved in the Enterprise Research Centre we have three main ambitions: to conduct and publish exciting and novel research; to provide the evidence for better growth strategy in the UK; and to establish the Enterprise Research Centre as a reference point for anyone interested in issues around business growth," he said.

Professor Roper said that each partner within the consortium would bring different expertise, allowing the centre to cover research in a range of areas including business ambition, leadership and management, finance, innovation, productivity and diversity.

"Our key objective is to provide policy-makers and SME managers with the evidence they need to make good decisions for growth," he said.

Business and enterprise minister Michael Fallon said that it was essential to listen to SMEs and understand what "makes them tick and how we can help them grow".

"By collaborating with partners and bringing together leading academics, the new Enterprise Research Centre will help the formulation of long-term policy that will help to stimulate economic growth in the UK," he added.

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