University becomes region’s first to receive national accreditation recognising commitment to innovation

Birmingham City University has become the West Midlands’ first institution to be awarded a major national accreditation recognising its commitment to innovation.


The University has achieved the Investor in Innovations Standard, which is awarded to organisations demonstrating that innovation and creativity is at the heart of their work.

The accreditation has been handed to the University’s team which leads its innovation and enterprise activities.

Birmingham City University becomes just the second university in the country, and the first in the region, to be handed the accreditation which is delivered by the UK’s Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange.

The Standard recognises how the University has worked with businesses and partners to drive innovation and growth, as well as the research taking place across the institution which is breaking new ground in a range of disciplines.

The University is also known for its pioneering work in placing the arts at the centre of work with traditional technical subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, in a practice known as STEAM.

Its work in developing STEAM has been a key factor in receiving the award, and the news comes ahead of the opening of the next phase of the STEAMhouse project, which provides a space for creative collaboration between businesses, artists and academics.

Investor in Innovations marks out organisations as leaders in innovation and key examples for other businesses. The Standard is aligned and mapped to the internationally recognised ISO 56002 Innovation Management Systems guidance.

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “We are always looking for innovative ways to maximise our research and innovation capabilities, and make sure that the work we do provides real benefit in our region and beyond.

It is a mark of the work taking place across the University that we have been able to achieve this Standard, but we will continue to follow the recommendations set out in the accreditation to make sure that innovation continues to be a key driver across the work that we do.
Professor Julian Beer

“Universities have an essential role to play in their communities and by placing innovation at the heart of the work we do, we can make sure the way we serve our residents continues to grow and develop.

“We are also very pleased to become the first Investor in Innovations University in the Midlands, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with the IKE Institute.”

The Investor in Innovation Standard provides benchmarks for an organisation’s innovation output and provides key recommendations for continuing to grow and develop their practices.

Prof Sa’ad Sam Medhat, IKE Institute’s CEO and a member of the ISO Technical Committee 279, responsible for setting international innovation standards, said: “BCU’s directorate has a strong and informed culture of innovation. It is enabled by their innovation-driven leadership which demonstrates clear evidence of empowered decision-making, growth mindset, open thinking, creative tools, and innovative processes and practices.

“The underlying passion to make the Birmingham region prosper was very evident. Their role in both building dynamic and productive ecosystems and crowdsourcing participation of key stakeholders to initiate and guide their innovation engagements, provides a true reflection of BCU’s advocated position as the anchor University for innovation in the region.

“The team is impressive, and have demonstrated huge ability, vision and ambition, and have embedded innovation into its DNA making ‘innovation by instinct’ a very real force that’s helping to create continual opportunities, driving growth for the University and the region’s economy.”