Wave 2 Growth Hubs programme gains recognition at AACSB International event

03 February 2016

The Wave 2 Growth Hubs programme, led by Lancaster University, has been highlighted in a prestigious international initiative.

The programme was one of 30 innovations picked out this week at the Deans Conference of the AACSB International – the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools – following the Association's Innovations That Inspire initiative.

This initiative aimed to shine a spotlight on a variety of ways that AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) member schools around the globe were working to innovate and diversify the business education environment.

From their approaches to research and learning, to their engagements with stakeholders and oversight of their management and operations, business schools are redefining the way that academic institutions of all kinds create, teach, connect, and lead.

The programmes which had most impressed the judges were profiled at the Deans Conference on 1st February in Florida USA.

William H. Glick, chair of the AACSB Board of Directors, said: "This year’s inaugural Innovations That Inspire initiative has highlighted the tremendous, trailblazing power of AACSB’s member schools, and the value that they place on innovative and meaningful ideas.

"We are proud to spotlight Lancaster University Management School’s innovation, as the ideas found within demonstrates how AACSB schools are catalysts for innovation, co-creators of knowledge, hubs of lifelong learning, leaders on leadership, and enablers of shared prosperity."

Lancaster was recognised for their submission of the Wave 2 Growth Hubs,  an 18-month initiative, led by Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) with the aim of enabling 15 new ‘Growth Hubs’ around England to create jobs and drive local economic growth.

LUMS brought together and facilitated 17 Local Enterprise Partnerships, 42 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and over 200 local and national business representatives, Chambers of Commerce and innovation organisations to establish the Hubs.

To date, the programme has created 2,244 new jobs, 90% of the programme target of 2,500. By the conclusion of the monitoring period, March 2017, the hubs predict that a total of 4,351 jobs will be created, far exceeding the initial target.

The programme, funded through the Government via the Regional Growth Fund, has attracted over £64m of private sector investment from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to match the initial input of £30m by the hubs. The programme exceeded the target of £2 private sector investment for every £1 invested.

Professor Ellie Hamilton Director Wave 2 Growth Hubs Programme: "We are absolutely delighted to receive this AACSB award for the Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme. The scale and impact of what has been achieved in just 18 months is overwhelming, not only tangibly in terms of job creation and the generation of private sector investment but in the processes and structures it has helped to create regionally to support businesses.

"It is a clear example of the value that HEIs can bring to the formulation and delivery of (business) policy."