WMG has just announced a new £12 million programme to help Midlands Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) access some of the world's leading product and service design technology. The new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at WMG is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University in a funding partnership brought together by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM).
The new Institute will have its own dedicated building by the summer of 2012. This will provide an open plan environment that allows engineers and innovators from local small and medium-sized businesses to see and touch the technology, and talk through their needs with on-site experts.
The Institute will feature some of the world’s leading technology including multi-functional polymers that enable advanced electronics and functionality to be embedded in three-dimensional plastic moulded components, and digital design tools that will allow the creation of virtual products that can be shared with production partners.
However, these tools will go one step further than most examples of advanced technology – they will be designed to deliver the best emotional experience for consumers.
WMG Director Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya said:
"Today even the most low-tech of products benefit enormously from the latest design technology in creating them and fitting them for the marketplace. The best product design technology will ensure that even the sound, feel and look of a product is perfected and even tailored to the customer's desires. This new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation will allow Midlands SMEs to find the technology they need to deliver that customer expectation."