The Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation unveils ‘new and improved’ Supply Chains of the Future programme.

supply-chains-bcimo-feature-thumbsThe Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) has unveiled its new and improved Supply Chains of the Future programme and is now looking for Black Country SMEs wishing to diversify into new and emerging markets to take advantage of the FREE support on offer.

BCIMO is working collaboratively with a select number of business partners to provide eligible companies [1] with 12 hours of completely FREE support – funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The support will enable companies to make key investment decisions on ways to improve their productivity and enable them to diversify into new and emerging markets, providing high quality, reliable and resilient supply chains for future industries.

Offers within the programme include:

This offer will scan the innovation funding landscape and provide companies with a high-level roadmap for the progression of suitable opportunities identified.

This offer will review current business processes, and provide companies with feedback on how they can improve their productivity through:

    • Energy & Sustainability: The reduction or elimination of emissions to the environment, waste, and the use of natural resources.
    • Engineering and Manufacturing Methods: The improvement of engineering, manufacturing, and quality methods used. Visit Product Governance Ltd | BCIMO Collaboration for more information.
    • Digital Technologies: The integration of digital technologies.
    • Digital Process Improvement: The digitisation of manual processes. Visit HanaTech | BCIMO Collaboration for more information.
    • Robotics for Automation: The use of robotics to automate manual processes. Visit Bots | BCIMO Collaboration for more information.

This offer will audit current marketing activities and provide companies with feedback on how to optimise & innovate their effectiveness.

This offer will match current product or service offerings to potential needs throughout the rail industry and provide companies with support on how to transfer their technologies into different railway applications. Visit Rebeka Sellick for more information.

This offer will identify company objectives and capabilities relative to the changing needs of the rail industry and provide a summary report outlining market intelligence and commercialisation strategies aligned with next steps of profile raising and potential introductions to partners, clients, investment, and further business scale up support [2].

This offer will provide companies with preliminary advice and guidance on how to claim R&D or Patent Box tax relief. Visit This R&D | BCIMO Collaboration for more information.

The Supply Chains of the Future programme focuses on the role of supply chains in the development of new industries, such as the emerging Very Light Rail industry, and is just one cog in the wheel of BCIMO’s total offering:



Naomi Arblaster - BCIMONaomi Arblaster, who leads the Supply Chains programme for BCIMO, said:

“I am really excited to introduce our new and improved business innovation support programme which will help our local businesses to become ‘supplier ready’ for new and emerging markets such as Very Light Rail (VLR). We believe that the VLR industry will bring significant business growth opportunities into the area and therefore it is essential that we support our local manufacturing businesses now to ensure they have the best chance of securing the business opportunities of the future and help prevent decline or stagnation.”

To find out more information or to register for the programme, please contact You can also register your details at


[1] Companies eligible for FREE support must:

    • Be based in, or on the borders of, the metropolitan boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall or in the City of Wolverhampton.
    • Have less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £50m per annum.
      Companies not meeting these criteria may still be able to access the programme but will be charged at BCIMO’s standard rate.

[2] Due to the scope of this service it is not available free of charge, but is offered at a much-discounted rate.

BCIMO is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) and operator of the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), a unique, world-class centre for rail innovation based in Dudley in the West Midlands.

BCIMO Project Funders

Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre
Zoological Drive
For Sat Navs use: DY1 4AL

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