Seven universities from the Midlands have joined forces in a new partnership designed to provide a powerful economic resource for the Midlands Engine, which has been backed by Prime Minister Theresa May.
The universities included in the project include, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, De Monfort University Leicester, University of Derby, University of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Wolverhampton.
The consortium was officially launched at Birmingham City University's Curzon building this week, with key business leaders, academics and local authority members all attending.
Under the partnership, the institutions will bring together their resources to create a pool of skills, research, expertise and facilities, which will all be made available to businesses and local authorities to promote job creation and boost economic growth.
Prime Minister Theresa May has already pledged her support for the Midlands Engine.
Vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University, professor Cliff Allan, said: "Despite changes at the top, our government has made it abundantly clear just how important it believes the Midlands is to driving forward economic growth in this country."
"Business, skills and innovation will be at the heart of this, so it is important that universities seize the opportunity to play their part in shaping the future of this region, its students and its workforce."
Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby added: "The University of Derby is looking forward to contributing to Midlands Engine productivity and to support and stimulate innovation in the Midlands' supply chains."