Research from University of Cambridge helping Welsh companies improve their business

The knowledge transfer arm of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing has launched a campaign to help small and medium-sized manufacturers based in Wales reach their innovation, growth and business improvement goals

Welsh companies seeking support from IfM Education and Consultancy Services (IfM ECS) may be eligible to receive up to £25,000 of financial support from the Welsh Government through the EU-backed Business Innovation programme by accessing Innovation Vouchers.


IfM ECS is already working with Welsh companies including: Corilla Plastics, a Bridgend-based company which uses rotational moulding processes to reduce their clients’ manufacturing costs; Amnitec Ltd, based in Merthyr Tydfil, which produces high-performance flexible metal hoses for the transfer of fluids and gases; Cardiff-based Alchemy Expo Ltd, which provides exhibition and display solutions such as in-store promotional displays and exhibition stands.


Ultrawave Ltd, an independent manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning equipment also based in Cardiff, has already seen some impressive growth as a direct result of IfM ECS’ support.

Managing Director, John Melville comments: “Attention was drawn to the need to expand after sales support. This has been addressed, and resulted in improved customer satisfaction and retention, as well as an increase of 60% in service/after sales revenue. New targets have been set to increase recurring revenue to 25% of total.”


Andrew Butcher, Managing Director at Alchemy Expo has been equally delighted with the impact of these research-based techniques on its business: “Both the prioritisation tool and workshops were very useful. They allowed me and my small management team to focus on key factors affecting our business. I have been able to use the information to focus efforts on our newer valuable product/service offerings. It has given me the confidence to stop selling some traditional product lines, causing a drop in turnover but overall increasing the profitability of the business sharply. Great result.”


Building Better Businesses

As part of the campaign, IfM ECS will also be running a number of free workshops aimed at helping Welsh SMEs grow their business, increase their revenue and understand how they can access funding for business innovation. The Breakfast Briefings will be held in collaboration with EEF Wales, the manufacturers’ organisation which helps companies to evolve and compete in a fast-changing world, and will be supported by the Welsh Government and Leyton.

These events are aimed at Managing Directors, Operations Directors/Managers, Factory Managers and Directors in small and medium-sized manufacturers in Wales. Participants will learn how R&D Tax Credits can help their business, how to take advantage of the Business Innovation programme and will be able to hear about the prioritisation tool created by IfM ECS to help businesses define their strategy and develop their capabilities in key areas.


There will be four speakers:

  • Paul Byard, National Director for Wales at EEF
  • Dr Derek Ford, IfM Education and Consultancy Services
  • Guang Deng, UK Head of Tax, Leyton
  • Mark Davies, Innovation Specialist, Welsh Government

Details of the Cardiff event can be found here, and Wrexham found here.

Date published

23 July 2013

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