VIATIC have a long relationship with Birmingham City University (BCU) and were present in some of the very early discussions about the creation of STEAMhouse, BCU's new business support, co-working and state-of-the-art makerspace based in Digbeth.
Recently, we have been working in partnership with the STEAMhouse team to design and deliver a series of "STEAMlab" open innovation events, to bring together a wide range of businesses, entrepreneurs, academics, artists and other creatives to tackle some of the problems facing the city, supported by STEAMhouse and with the opportunity of using the facilities to help prototype their solutions.
These events have covered themes such as digital health care, assisted living, engaging young people in future planning for the city and finding new ways to help young people gain access to new skills.
The focus of STEAMlabs is on cross-disciplinary working, bring together people from digital businesses, to arts producers to social science academics to young entrepreneurs. STEAM labs are facilitated events over two days, where participants come together to find like minded people, work together and solve challenges set by local organisations in the city.
The approach is based in design-led innovation, with an emphasis on user insight, testing and prototyping. The STEAMhouse facility can offer support to teams or SMEs to further develop and prototype their solutions, through the STEAMhouse business support teams and extensive, state-of-the-art makerspaces.
The first of these events was on digital health and sought to solve some of the entrenched problems facing healthcare services, not only in Birmingham but across the UK and beyond.
Teams from that event in 2018 are now working with Health services in the city and developing their prototypes and acquiring funding for testing in 2019.
Further STEAMlabs are being planned for the coming months.
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