Increase your profitability and achieve growth through a Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network-KEEN


Increase your profitability and achieve growth through a Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN) project.

Birmingham City University is happy to announce an exciting West Midlands Regional Business Support Programme - KEEN (Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and designed specifically to help West Midlands based SMEs increase their profitability and achieve growth.

KEEN - What are the benefits for your business?

• A bespoke project, developed specifically to meet your needs and requirements.

• A graduate (known as an Affiliate) who will be recruited to work full-time on the project within your business.

• Support from a nominated university liaison officer – who will visit your company to offer ongoing support throughout the duration of the KEEN project.

• A university academic expert(s) who will visit your company (0.5 day per week throughout the project duration) to mentor and support the Affiliate, ensuring that the project is on track, and objectives are being met.

• Access to an equipment and travel budget (funding, worth on average up to £4,000).

• Post-completion of the KEEN project, should you require additional help, we can advise you on other business support products, for example the part-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) programme.

• A KEEN project can vary in length dependent upon the nature of the project, running from between 6-24 months.How does KEEN work?

• KEEN programmes offer a high level of business support and flexibility to companies, implemented through the transfer of knowledge and expertise that is embedded directly into your business.

• A KEEN programme is managed directly by a graduate (Affiliate), recruited by you, to work full-time on the KEEN project.

• The university will work with you to help develop the project, and upon submission, the approval process takes approximately 7-14 days.

• The university supports you from initial meeting, application stage, during recruitment and throughout the duration of the KEEN project.

• Once approved, there are strategic KEEN project meetings, held at the start, mid-way point, and at the end of the project to ensure that the project is on track and delivering results for your business.

How much will KEEN cost my company?

The KEEN can vary in cost, upon average of £23,750 per annum. There is flexibility to reduce this, dependent upon the salary scale you wish to pay the Affiliate (salary scale ranges from £18,000 - £24,000), allowing the company to appoint on a generous scale.

What makes KEEN attractive to businesses?

• Unique to the West Midlands, KEEN is available to SMEs in the region.

• KEEN is highly responsive - turnaround from application to approval/running the project is typically three weeks, minimising the recruitment period, helping businesses to move forward and remain competitive.

• Graduates (Affiliate) can come from anywhere in the UK, ensuring that the best talent and skills are recruited to deliver your bespoke KEEN project.

• Unlike many part-funded knowledge transfer schemes, business process, lean and marketing projects are eligible for funding.

• Micro businesses may also be considered, providing they are able to demonstrate a commitment to the management of the graduate (Affiliate).

Interested? Next steps:

We can arrange to visit you at your premises, at your earliest convenience, to discuss how a KEEN project can really help your business move forward.


Natalie Lewis, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Birmingham City University

T: 0121 331 5677

E: [email protected]


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