The Enterprise Research Centre

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) is the UK’s leading centre of excellence for research into the growth, innovation and productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Our research helps shape better policies and practices that enable SMEs to thrive. 

The Centre was launched in January 2013 and is a research partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, and Queens University Belfast. 

We have become the ‘go-to’ reference point for anyone looking for robust, trusted data and insights on SME performance. Our research is project-based and covers a range of themes. You can find out about our current research programme here

Our core research team are based at Warwick and Aston University Business Schools, but we work with a network of world-class researchers based in a range of institutions. Find out more here

Core funding for the Centre is currently provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK (IUK), the British Business Bank (BBB) and the Intellectual Property Office ( IPO). In addition, the ERC also undertakes commissioned work for a range of organisations.  

External grant research funding over the REF 2021 period totals £6.5 million. Current project include: 

  • AHRC funded economic and social impact of cultural production through Coventry City of Culture 2021 (£25,000, Roper) 

  • ESRC funded productivity network grant (£312,000, Fraser, Mole and Roper) 

  • ESRC funded productivity institute (£32 million via Manchester, Driffield, Roper, Surdu, Warhurst) 

  • ESRC funded English Champagne Geographical Indications (GIs) and productivity after Brexit (£200,000, Roper) 

  • Innovate UK funded project to address innovation challenges in SMEs (£32,000, Roper with Oxford Brookes) 

  • Research England funded National Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) (£778,000, Roper with Newcastle and Gloucestershire Universities).

As well as contributing to academic knowledge, our work has equipped policymakers and practitioners with a better understanding of issues surrounding SME growth and development across the UK. Research undertaken at the Centre has provided fresh insight into topics critical to the competitiveness of the economy. We communicate our research widely to ensure we maximise its policy impact. 

The University’s Productivity and the Futures of Work Global Research Priority is led by Professor Giuliana Battisti, with Professor Stephen Roper leading the Innovation Theme. For more information on the Productivity and Futures of Work GRP, please see here.

Director of the ERC: Professor Stephen Roper.

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