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Midlands' universities group appoints new director to drive Midlands Engine agenda

Dr Helen Turner

The leading research intensive universities in the Midlands have appointed their first Director to oversee the development of an exceptional HE partnership, which aims to harness their combined research power and bring significant economic benefits to the Midlands Engine and rest of the UK.

Dr Helen Turner has been appointed Director of the group, which includes the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. She brings significant experience to the role having spent the last seven years as Director of the Midlands Energy Consortium, where most recently, Dr Turner played a key role in the successful £60m bid to establish the Midlands Energy Research Accelerator.

The partnership of Midlands’ universities was originally established to facilitate the sharing of expensive equipment between research intensive universities and with business. Over the last two years the ambitions of the partnership have grown significantly and today there are a growing number of collaborations across the Midlands focused on rebalancing and driving economic recovery by combining research power and industrial strengths.

Commenting on her appointment Dr Turner said: “I am delighted to have been appointed and believe the timing is right to strengthen the academic partnerships with the Midlands. There is a wealth of existing collaboration and best practice here which we should shout about and which will help to strengthen the messaging about the capabilities and opportunities within the region and provide much needed leadership and advocacy for the Midlands Engine.”

Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham commented: “I am delighted Dr Turner has been appointed to lead the development of this exceptional HE partnership. Helen has an ideal background for this role. Her vision, ambition and enthusiasm will be pivotal in strengthening our academic partnerships and driving new initiatives. As Chair of the Group, I am very much looking forward to working with Helen. ”