Coventry University Enterprises

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Coventry University Enterprises's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Coventry University Enterprises is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.coventry.ac.uk/business

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES
Managing Director Frank Mills
Technology park
Coventry University Enterprises acts as the commercial
arm for the eponymous institution, offering a variety of
services and acting as a bridge between the students and
industry. Founded in 1997, it manages the Coventry Technology
Park and while it is a limited company, all its profits are re-
invested into the university. Managing Director Frank Mills tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the capacity of the organisation
for furthering the interests of local SMEs and its role as an
intermediary between the university and the commercial world.
At CUE, we offer a vast range of services that further the interest of Coventry
University and its students. We are the organisation through which the university
runs much of its commercial, income-generating and business-partnership work
and we operate in a regional, national, European and international context. A key
aspect of this work is supporting small to medium-sized enterprises through specific
projects and managing the Coventry University Technology Park.
On top of this we manage a virtual office service called VirtualBiz, offer meeting and
conference facilities through Coventry Conferences, act as global leaders in simulation-
based education and training for disaster and emergency management and run
our own recruitment agency, thefutureworks. Finally, we own a subsidiary body in
Singapore that supports the expansion of EU-based SMEs and start-ups intoAsia.
Evolving and advancing
CUE was founded in 1997, after gaining planning permission for the construction
of the technology park. We began by managing the park and slowly investigated
FACTS ABOUT
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY
ENTERPRISES
»Managing Director: Frank Mills
»Founded in 1997
»Located in Coventry
»Services: Business support,
virtual office set-up, meeting
and conference facilities,
technology park office space
management, simulation
centre operation and
recruitment
»No. of employees: 80
Coventry University
Enterprises
33COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES |
CIVIL SOCIETY
other potential commercial
opportunities for the university. CUE
owns all of the land upon which
the park was constructed, and we
developed a conference centre and
facilities for growing SMEs. We
began looking outward at potential
government and EU-funded schemes
and started offering business support
to organisations regionally, nationally
and on an EU and international basis.
A key part of this process was the
creation of a soft landing zone in
Singapore, which offered SMEs looking
to grow their export capabilities
the chance to gain registration in
Singapore with a view to trading in
Asia. We initially operated landing
zones in 15 countries but following the
success of our Singapore-based body,
we set up a permanent subsidiary body
in the city-state. From there we could
facilitate the process of SMEs setting
up a physical or virtual presence.
Closer to home, we have worked on
substantial technology projects that
have enhanced the environment for
the business community in Coventry
and the surrounding area. As part
of CW2000, we helped bring faster
broadband connections to 12 of the
most deprived economic areas in the
city and this provided businesses with
faster speeds than those experienced
in London. To ensure we remain
specialist, our project-support solutions
arm only works with organisations in
the digital and green space.
The property management work is
largely government funded, but we
also established a subsidiary body
called Future Lets that helps manage
commercial properties and student
housing developments. On top of this,
we run a recruitment agency that splits
its work in half between external and
university-commissioned assignments.
Our unique simulation centre for
construction and emergency services
is another particularly successful
aspect of the business. Our staff host
sessions that train fire fighters and
police officers in incident command
skills, allowing them to go through
advanced training in dangerous
environments. Through the simulator,
we can replicate a terrorist attack on
a city and run tasks in which staff
have to respond accordingly. While
this is open to students, around 60
per cent of sessions are run in tandem
with external organisations and two
of our largest contracts are with the
Singapore fire and police departments.
Commercial ventures with
education at their heart
Our historic body of work and role
as a bridge between education and
business really set us apart. The
organisation has built long-term
partnerships with the motor industry
in Coventry and Birmingham, while
our association with the university has
allowed Coventry students to become
leaders in the sectors in which we
specialise. The university has its own
automotive design school and as a
result 30 of the 32 top design houses
are run by Coventry graduates.
The extent of the relationship between
the university and industry is further
Incident command
training
Our unique
simulation
centre for
construction
and emergency
services is
another
particularly
successful
aspect of the
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES
Managing Director Frank Mills
Technology park
Coventry University Enterprises acts as the commercial
arm for the eponymous institution, offering a variety of
services and acting as a bridge between the students and
industry. Founded in 1997, it manages the Coventry Technology
Park and while it is a limited company, all its profits are re-
invested into the university. Managing Director Frank Mills tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the capacity of the organisation
for furthering the interests of local SMEs and its role as an
intermediary between the university and the commercial world.
At CUE, we offer a vast range of services that further the interest of Coventry
University and its students. We are the organisation through which the university
runs much of its commercial, income-generating and business-partnership work
and we operate in a regional, national, European and international context. A key
aspect of this work is supporting small to medium-sized enterprises through specific
projects and managing the Coventry University Technology Park.
On top of this we manage a virtual office service called VirtualBiz, offer meeting and
conference facilities through Coventry Conferences, act as global leaders in simulation-
based education and training for disaster and emergency management and run
our own recruitment agency, thefutureworks. Finally, we own a subsidiary body in
Singapore that supports the expansion of EU-based SMEs and start-ups intoAsia.
Evolving and advancing
CUE was founded in 1997, after gaining planning permission for the construction
of the technology park. We began by managing the park and slowly investigated
FACTS ABOUT
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY
ENTERPRISES
»Managing Director: Frank Mills
»Founded in 1997
»Located in Coventry
»Services: Business support,
virtual office set-up, meeting
and conference facilities,
technology park office space
management, simulation
centre operation and
recruitment
»No. of employees: 80
Coventry University
Enterprises
33COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES |
CIVIL SOCIETY
other potential commercial
opportunities for the university. CUE
owns all of the land upon which
the park was constructed, and we
developed a conference centre and
facilities for growing SMEs. We
began looking outward at potential
government and EU-funded schemes
and started offering business support
to organisations regionally, nationally
and on an EU and international basis.
A key part of this process was the
creation of a soft landing zone in
Singapore, which offered SMEs looking
to grow their export capabilities
the chance to gain registration in
Singapore with a view to trading in
Asia. We initially operated landing
zones in 15 countries but following the
success of our Singapore-based body,
we set up a permanent subsidiary body
in the city-state. From there we could
facilitate the process of SMEs setting
up a physical or virtual presence.
Closer to home, we have worked on
substantial technology projects that
have enhanced the environment for
the business community in Coventry
and the surrounding area. As part
of CW2000, we helped bring faster
broadband connections to 12 of the
most deprived economic areas in the
city and this provided businesses with
faster speeds than those experienced
in London. To ensure we remain
specialist, our project-support solutions
arm only works with organisations in
the digital and green space.
The property management work is
largely government funded, but we
also established a subsidiary body
called Future Lets that helps manage
commercial properties and student
housing developments. On top of this,
we run a recruitment agency that splits
its work in half between external and
university-commissioned assignments.
Our unique simulation centre for
construction and emergency services
is another particularly successful
aspect of the business. Our staff host
sessions that train fire fighters and
police officers in incident command
skills, allowing them to go through
advanced training in dangerous
environments. Through the simulator,
we can replicate a terrorist attack on
a city and run tasks in which staff
have to respond accordingly. While
this is open to students, around 60
per cent of sessions are run in tandem
with external organisations and two
of our largest contracts are with the
Singapore fire and police departments.
Commercial ventures with
education at their heart
Our historic body of work and role
as a bridge between education and
business really set us apart. The
organisation has built long-term
partnerships with the motor industry
in Coventry and Birmingham, while
our association with the university has
allowed Coventry students to become
leaders in the sectors in which we
specialise. The university has its own
automotive design school and as a
result 30 of the 32 top design houses
are run by Coventry graduates.
The extent of the relationship between
the university and industry is further
Incident command
training
Our unique
simulation
centre for
construction
and emergency
services is
another
particularly
successful
aspect of the
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES
evidenced by the fact that Coventry
is considered to be one of just ten
business-facing universities. Students
leave “business ready” and we have
built strong links with the 80 tenants
at our technology park that bring
academic and industry expertise
together. For example, The Institute
of Health, Design and Technology is
based on the park and through close
collaboration with the university they
won awards for their disability aids.
Our recruitment arm also allows us to
put students into roles with some of
the UK’s largest companies. We have
a close relationship with Jaguar Land
Rover, while Tata used to be based on
the park, and we have managed to put
numerous students into outstanding
roles at both companies. Our model
is very integrated, and this is further
benefited by the fact that the vice
chancellor of the university was
previously the managing director of
CUE. He has never lost focus of the
business world and is quite unique
in having a business-based rather
than academic background. People
are increasingly taking note of the
university, with the
Guardian
ranking it
17th in the UK.
Expanding and not standing
still
As the organisation has worked on
a number of EU-funded projects,
Brexit will prove challenging. Eighteen
months ago, we were awarded nine
EU contracts, worth around £6 million,
but these have sadly been put on hold.
This funding has now been secured
for the following three years, but we
must act quickly to ensure we have
new commercial opportunities on the
horizon to supplement the blow. We
are working closely with local chambers
of commerce as part of this process.
The park is also 97 per cent full, so we
are in negotiations with the university
over new land that has been acquired.
If we can expand, our growth can
continue at a similar rate, but this
process could take up to three years.
Lastly, I am fearful that the student
accommodation bubble could burst,
especially as a result of the potential
slowdown in foreign students coming
to the UK to study. Despite these
challenges, our work in Asia remains
exciting and we are hoping to continue
this expansion as we look to the futur e.
Our
recruitment
arm also
allows us to
put students
into roles with
some of the
UK’s largest
companies
Simulation training
centre
35CONSORTIUM FOR STREET CHILDREN |
CIVIL SOCIETY
Chief Executive Caroline Ford
Even today, children and
youth around the world still
live and work on the streets
Consortium for Street Children is an international network
looking to change the world for street children. The
network brings together over 100 organisations,
researchers and practitioners in 135 countries. Together, it
is the top global source of grassroots evidence and technical
expertise on street children. Chief Executive Caroline Ford tells
TheParliamentary Review
more about its ongoing work and
how it plans to work with external bodies to enhance its impact.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified
human rights treaty in history. Despite near-universal commitment to its principles,
invisible children often fall through the cracks. Street children in particular are, around
the world, deprived of their most basic needs. They are reduced to labels: victims,
criminals, vagrants, nuisances. Their lives do not always fit with the traditional notion
that childhood should be innocent and carefree. Some take the view that street
children need to be rescued – even against their will – and put into a home, while
others think they are a problem that needs to be solved through law and order
measures. Listen to street children themselves and you will hear a different perspective:
Respect us as human beings.”
We’re not asking for charity. I want to become someone to fend for myself.”
“Give us the opportunity to change our story.”
Our belief is that not enough is being done to give street children the protection and
opportunities that they are owed. To make a difference, we need co-ordinated action
from governments, civil society, businesses, donors, media and the public. We are
working to drive that action through advocacy, research and movement-building.
FACTS ABOUT
CONSORTIUM FOR STREET
CHILDREN
»Chief Executive: Caroline Ford
»Founded in 1993
»Located in London
»Services: Advocacy, research
and movement building
»No. of employees: 9
»The Consortium network has
over 100 members in 135
countries
»www.streetchildren.org
Consortium for Street
Children

www.coventry.ac.uk/business

This article was sponsored by Coventry University Enterprises. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development