Keele University Business Gateway 'will help UK businesses grow'

A multi-million pound initiative to provide businesses with expert advice, graduate talent and state-of-the-art facilities has been launched.

Keele University's revolutionary Business Gateway scheme will open the doors to businesses and organisations, allowing them access to an international network of resources, expertise and potential employees.

The initiative aims to create high-value jobs and encourage business growth across the UK and eventually, the rest of the world.

Businesses can take advantage of a number of initiatives as part of the scheme including:

The Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme – which provides companies who are in the process of developing new products, with cutting-edge resources and academic expertise.

Grants of up to £2,000 are also available.

The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator – a living laboratory where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, tested and developed in a real world environment.

Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership – a prestigious innovation leadership programme addressing the challenges for businesses across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.

The Business Gateway programme was officially launched on Friday as part of the two-week Staffordshire Business Festival.

Dr Mark Bacon, director of engagement and partnerships at Keele University, said: “Keele University is a major economic anchor and one of the largest employers in the area.

“A recent report found that Keele is set to contribute almost £0.4 billion to the local economy each year, and sustain more than 6,000 jobs by 2023, and the Business Gateway is very much the way we intend to deliver that."

Professor Trevor McMillan, vice chancellor of Keele University, added: “It's absolutely vital for universities to support free-thinking academics to follow their ideas and expertise and be at the forefront of their academic disciplines.

“But it is also essential that universities support these academics to ensure that expertise and equipment is available to everybody regionally and internationally.

“Employment in this area is very, very high but what we need more of is high-paid, high-value jobs and that's where universities can really contribute."

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce chief executive Sara Williams hopes the Business Gateway will help to support innovation and create opportunities for graduates.

“It's fantastic to have an organisation here which is prepared to champion expertise.

Read more: The first ever Staffordshire Business Festival will celebrate success of local firms

She said: “The leadership that Keele has provided with the Business Gateway is really important and now we've got to shout about what we've got here.

“Having such a great, research-led institution which has a real understanding about what businesses need will really drive innovation across the area.

“It is also important that we don't lose sight of what businesses really need which is aspiring graduates."

News presenter and business broadcaster Sally Bundock helped to launch the initiative at Keele University last week.

She said: “Everything is moving so fast, and young people are really pushing the agenda so hard.

“The Business Gateway is the perfect place to enable collaboration to take place between students, businesses and academics."

To learn more about the Keele University Business Gateway visit

Sophie Attwood