A new ?1.1m project was released to support SMEs in the West Midlands by identifying affordable technologies. The project, led by Coventry University Enterprises and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to ?future proof? the companies and gain them a competitive advantage.Collecting the most useful and hands-on advice on how to exploit the most suitable technologies should help boost business growth potential, so the high hopes for the Technology and Innovation Futures (TIF) initiative. Support through the TIF project will range from guidance on the adoption of ICT hardware and software, to design and prototyping consultancy and advice on best practice for manufacturing systems and quality control. Investment in new technology is widely seen as one of the most effective ways for small to medium-sized businesses to increase their chances of survival during a recession. Hopefully the project will provide some help that will efficiently result in long-term cost reductions for growing businesses in the UK. The project will particularly provide opportunities in the ICT and manufacturing sectors. Norman Price, deputy chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, commented on the launch: ?The ERDF Programme is focussed on helping West Midlands businesses grow and thrive. Through this project over ?1.1m of ERDF support will help to transform the processes of local businesses to ensure they are future-oriented and ready to respond to growth opportunities presented through new technology developments.? A key aim is to improve the global competitiveness and productivity of regional SMEs. Businesses in the West Midlands have high growth potential, but widely lack the support to adopt new technologies quickly, hampering their development. ?Through a combination of strategic planning and high-level business support encouraging the adoption of new technology, this project will help to create jobs, save jobs, boost productivity and revenue, encouraging increased competitiveness on an international scale.?
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