A new initiative between the University of Wolverhampton and Telford & Wrekin Council, to improve skills and knowledge for the digital sectors.

SOLVD supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire in the adoption of digital technologies to improve productivity and profit by implementing emerging technology and providing routes for growth.

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Telford Innovation Centre tenants win Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Congratulations to our tenants – Scanning Pens on winning this prestigious award – well done!
Created in 2003 by Oxford Brookes graduates Jack S. Churchill (CEO) and Toby Sutton (COO), Scanning Pens is a dedicated EdTech company supplying text-to-speech devices to people with dyslexia, as well as raising awareness of dyslexia worldwide and supporting people whose daily lives are impacted by literacy differences.
Scanning Pens devices represent a huge quality-of-life change for neurodiverse people, and work by allowing users to scan through and listen to texts via an audio feedback system. Removing the need for in-person readers and modified texts, they make reading an independent act, and help people who struggle with reading able to engage with texts in the same way that a neurotypical person might. From working through a history exam or reading the latest bestsellers to the day-to-day admin tasks of running a business, their devices are designed to make reading accessible and simple, so that users can focus on what matters.
As a business, Scanning Pens have dedicated the past twelve months to supporting young people and adults with dyslexia and literacy differences who have been so affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as offering free trials of their technology to schools, they now offer the same scheme to parents to try before they buy. Scanning Pens are fortunate and proud that the company has remained open for business and has continued expanding into territories such as the US, Australia and Canada as well as developing new markets in other countries all over the globe.
The Queen’s Award is appointed for sustained achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development, and Promoting Business via Social Mobility. Now in its 55th year, the programme is considered one of the highest awards for business in the country. Scanning Pens, too, are no stranger to the prestigious recognition of international business growth: in March 2021 the Department of International Trade recognised their outstanding international sales and named them Export Champions for the third year running. As a company they proactively reach out and encourage other businesses to become exporters. Socially distant living has created uncertain times in education that Scanning Pens continues to support people through.
The recognition of a dedicated assistive technology business by an office as prestigious as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is a statement on the growing worldwide commitment to accessibility. It also promotes a powerful message on how vital it is to consider inclusivity during a time when business and education are engaged in a rapid process of change and adapting to a very different set of global norms.
Find out more about Scanning Pen here……

“To be recognised by the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the highest honour in business. We’re thrilled that our dedication to literacy and reading accessibility has been acknowledged in such a way that celebrates the commitment of everybody here at Scanning Pens.”

— Jack Churchill, CEO & Co-Founder

The Workplace

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Looking to Recruit a Student or Graduate on a Work Experience or Placement basis?

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Academic partnerships could help with business recovery

The University of Wolverhampton is all set to share its management expertise via the Government’s Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP) programme which could help businesses with their post-Covid recovery.

Like the highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, a Management KTP will create a unique three-way partnership between a company, a team of experienced academics and a qualified graduate. The projects can last between 12 months to three years.

Emma Pearson, Knowledge Transfer Manager, at the University said: “During these uncertain times many businesses are concerned about their company’s future. Post-Covid recovery means many companies will need to explore new innovative ways of working, from establishing remote offices to completely adopting new business models.”

“Effective management can make the difference between a thriving and failing company, and a part funded Management KTP could be the solution.”

“Our academic experts from the Wolverhampton Business School at the University of Wolverhampton are welcoming the introduction of Management KTPS, which allow them to work in partnership with companies to identify new approaches and deliver transformative change.”

Management KTPs are part-funded up to 67 per cent of the total project cost. Management KTPs are co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, a department of the UK Government and Innovate UK.

For more information, see the full article.