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November 16, 2012

New research centre puts the spotlight on enterprise

A new Enterprise Research Centre has been established in the UK as a focal point for research, knowledge and expertise on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Opening on 1st January 2013, the centre will be jointly hosted by Warwick and Aston Universities and its remit will be to develop understanding of the factors affecting business investment, performance and growth.

The £2.9 million centre is a joint collaboration between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Technology Strategy Board. Its research could inform government policy and business practice for SMEs in the UK.

Warwick and Aston University will work alongside a consortium of other universities including Strathclyde, Birmingham, De Montfort and Imperial College London.

Stephen Roper, Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and director of the centre, said: "I am delighted to be leading the Enterprise Research Centre with Professor Mark Hart from Aston Business School. By working together we will generate world-class research which will both benefit business and inform UK policy development."

He added: "The centre will research important issues including business ambition, leadership and management, finance, innovation, productivity and diversity. Our key objective is to provide policymakers and SME managers with the evidence they need to make good decisions for growth."

He added: "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."

Business and enterprise minister Michael Fallon said: "It is essential we listen to our 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."