Their mission statement is to "drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development that will grow the high-tech, high skilled economy of the Midlands" by building "global hubs of research and innovation excellence", "exploiting the unique strengths and building on the rich history of collaboration of eight leading Universities across the Midlands: Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick."
They point out that the "Midlands is at the heart of the UK, with a population of more than 11 million, creating £222 billion Gross Value Added – more than 14% of the total for the UK. It is also a high-export economy, with exports worth more than any other region in the UK – £49 billion annually, 17% of the UK total. The region is at the heart of UK manufacturing and advanced engineering, accounting for 20% of UK manufacturing output through world leading business and industry like Alstom, Bombardier, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, National Grid, Rolls-Royce, Tarmac and Toyota UK." Midlands Innovation is tapping into "the Midlands Engine for Growth, the Government's ais to raise the long-term growth rate of the region, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and add £34 billion to its economy by 2030."
I hadn't been aware of any of these Midlands groupings, but it makes a huge amount of sense in an era of dwindling resources and diminished UK influence in the global arena. The Midlands has a really strong technology base and the immense advantage of lower cost-of-living than the South of England - I think it's time that people heard more about these alliances!