Fast-track business collaboration programme helps UK companies

I am involved with a UK programme which is facilitating fast-track business collaboration between enterprises in the Interiors and Lifestyles markets (furniture, jewelry, ceramics, soft furnishings, clothing etc). The project is taking its own medicine and operates as a collaborative between Birmingham City University (BCU) and The Ceramics Industry Federation (CIF).

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Possibly the most valuable aspect of the programme is that it has developed its own unique set of structured interactions which start where today's companies are hurting and gently lead them through 3 increasing levels of collaboration with a guaranteed business result at each stage:

  • LEVEL 1: Companies engage in a private online community and post business opportunites for each other
  • LEVEL 2: Companies meet other companies to explore how they can help each other on a 1-1 basis particularly around finding and offering new channels to market for existing products and services
  • LEVEL 3: Small groups of companies come together for 12-week collaborative projects (with non-competing companies) to address areas of mutual interest with support from the ILF project team

The ILF programme is open and free to all eligible companies - for more details check-out the new ILF blog at

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