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Aston Science Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2007/04/20 - Industry representatives from Denmark and Sweden have been visiting the world-famous Jewellery Quarter as part of an innovation exchange.
The exchange is part of a European Union project titled Innovative Regions involving the West Midlands – led by Advantage West Midlands – North Jutland in Denmark and the Ronneby region in Sweden.
The aim is to show how businesses in each region have worked together and with Universities to improve innovation and productivity.
During the two-day visit, the delegation received a series of presentations for key organisations such as the Jewellery Quarter Regeneration Partnership and the British Jewellers’ Association as well as visiting the Industry Innovation Centre and UCE’s School of Jewellery.
The event was hosted by region development agency Advantage West Midlands (advantagewm.co.uk) which supports the industry through the netinfinity project.
Jewellery is one of the industries that form the High Value Added Consumer Products Cluster along with clothing, glass, clothing, ceramics, furniture and leather goods which between them comprise 2,500 businesses directly employing more than 48,000 people.
Mike Barton, Advantage West Midlands Cluster Manager, said: “The Jewellery Quarter is probably the West Midlands’ most established industry cluster, dating back over 200 years.
“You can see small and large companies working together and, importantly, with universities and students come from all over the world to study jewellery design at the UCE’s School of Jewellery.
“As a result, even the today’s global market place, the Birmingham jewellery industry has been able to trade competitively with the rest of the world based on design, new technology and quality.
“Getting SMEs to engage with Universities is a major challenge for all economies but here in the West Midlands we have made excellent progress in doing just that.
“Effectively, all European Union regions face similar challenges and this has been a golden opportunity to show how the West Midlands is leading the way.”