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Innovative Midlands' project will help open doors for graduates

Published: Friday, 08 June 2007   Category: Professional & financial services

A new scheme being pioneered by Aston University will help SMEs in the Midlands greatly extend their research capabilities as well as improve the way they look for graduates.

Innovation Delivers Expansion (INDEX) is based on an acclaimed project started in the Netherlands and the Midlands' project, the first time such a scheme has been used in the UK, is being supported by 13 of the region's universities and higher education institutions.

SMEs with up to 250 employees have until June 29th to apply for the scheme, with 80 selected proposals then to be rewarded with £3,000 worth of research vouchers which can be redeemed at any of the participating institutions.

Not only will INDEX thus allow chosen companies to tap into relevant research expertise, but it is also expected to offer those companies involved a chance to get ahead in the hunt for graduates to fill appropriate in-house openings.

"This is a real opportunity for companies, at minimum cost and risk, to work with universities to result in real improvements," Gil Murray, assistant director of the Confederation of British Industry in the West Midlands, told the Birmingham Post.

"Together the universities have a wealth of hidden expertise and knowledge and this programme will help companies identify and choose a person that will be able to help them. The programme has been designed to be simple for companies to access and break down the communications barriers often associated with universities," continued Mr Murray.ADNFCR-1068-ID-18174104-ADNFCR

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