News release

Date: 14th September 2012

Science, Technology and Engineering businesses invited to attend showcase event and develop strong partnerships with North West universities

Free “Spotlight North West: Growing Opportunities in STEM” Event will be held on Tuesday 25th September 2012 from 5pm-8pm at the Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Talbot Road, Old Trafford Manchester M16 0PX

United Kingdom, 14th September 2012 — National HE STEM Programme North West today announces a free showcase event that will provide businesses and universities with an opportunity to connect on key issues – such as research, innovation, skills and training – that are vital to the success and growth of SMEs and large companies across the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries. The evening event is being held on Tuesday 25th September from 5pm-8pm at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, Manchester. STEM businesses interested in attending can register a place online now at:

The event aims to attract a broad range of STEM companies, bringing together North West universities, Sector Skills Councils (SSCs), Cluster organisations, Professional bodies and Funders to provide businesses with key information about current funding and partnership opportunities in the region. Attendees from industry will be updated on the range of services available from North West HEIs, learn how to influence the quality and employability of STEM graduate recruits, and discover how to up-skill their workforce. Spotlight North West will also share with delegates key outcomes, learnings and recommendations following a number of recent North West Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives funded by the National HE STEM programme.

A key focus of the event will be the showcasing of the STEM Business University Gateway – – web tool. This tool has been developed specifically to lower the barriers for businesses looking to access Higher Education Institution (HEI) services and expertise by providing a user-friendly platform. STEMBUG allows businesses to explore the unique sector expertise offered by North West universities as well as providing an easy route to identifying available training courses offered by regional institutions.

The plenary presentation session will bring together experts in the field to discuss the opportunities in STEM for the future, with panellists including:
• Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)
• Tony Ellender, Training and Development Manager, Balfour Beatty plc
• Brian Holliday, Division Director, Industry Automation, Siemens plc
• Caroline Sudworth, Higher Education Manager, Cogent SSC Ltd
• John Leake, Business Development Manager, Sci-Tech Daresbury

Commenting on the event, Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) said:

“The Government recently responded to the Wilson Review of Business-University Collaboration by acknowledging that the UK already has established good Business-University collaborations. In particular, it was pleasing to see many of the examples cited by the Government came from North West universities: ‘Manchester Graduate Internship Programme (MGIP) ’ managed by The University of Manchester’s Career Service; ‘Graduate to Merseyside ’ offered by the University of Liverpool; and ‘World of Work Programme ’ by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

The World of Work Programme is a major employability initiative unique to LJMU, developed in partnership with leading employers such as Airbus, Ford Europe, GKN Aerospace, Oracle, United Utilities, Siemens and Sony. It aims to provide students with the skills, knowledge and competencies required by graduate employers.

For Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates, the World of Work Programme ensures that, as well as academic knowledge and technical skills, they also develop commercial awareness and people-based skills, enabling them to move successfully into a STEM-based career.

However, the Government has encouraged us all to ensure that we capitalize on the potentially huge rewards of effective Business-University engagement. This is particularly relevant to the STEM sector and therefore I believe the ’Spotlight North West Event: Growing opportunities in STEM‘ is timely and an opportunity where we can, not only celebrate the achievements of the National HE STEM Programme, but also have a meaningful discussion around developing further partnerships and collaborations between STEM businesses with the North West universities.”

Dr Caroline Sudworth, HE Manager, Cogent SSC Ltd added:,

"Cogent, the Sector Skills Council for the Science Based Industries, welcomes the work undertaken by the National HE STEM Programme. Through active engagement with employers and universities across the North West region, long-term relationships have been forged for the future.

In line with the employer voice, the programmes have concentrated upon key areas of demand including greater access to higher education for employees and new entrants, enhanced links with further education partners, the integration of employer knowledge in the student curriculum, enhancing technical and employability skills, and the delivery of flexible learning packages.

The availability of STEMBUG will also ensure ease of access for employers seeking solutions to business needs."

To register for this FREE event, please visit:

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About National HE STEM Programme North West:

HE STEM Programme North West is part of the National HE STEM Programme which is a £21million, three-year initiative funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales.

The programme supports Higher Education Institutions and encourages the exploration of new approaches to recruiting students and delivering programmes of study within the STEM disciplines.
For more information, please visit:
Twitter: @NWSTEM
Join the discussion: #slnw

For further details, please contact:
Charlie Ellis
Email: cd_ellis[at]hotmaill[dot]com
Tel: 07866490044

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