Digital technology campus Innovation Birmingham and National Express have joined forces to support the growth of digital tech businesses in the West Midlands.

A new business incubator, 'NXIS', will create commercial opportunities for SMEs across the region, providing access to the transport sector and helping companies to grow and embed products and services.

The application process to find the next big thing in transport tech begins today (10 October).

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NXIS will sit alongside other partner incubators, including Barclays Eagle Labs, Tata Motors, the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Transport for West Midlands and Gymshark.

Rob Muir, chief digital officer at National Express, said the purpose of innovation in this context is to "disrupt the market, enhance products and streamline processes".

Alongside supporting small businesses, Muir added that National Express is "hoping to acquire some of the most talented and sought-after minds in the region to improve what we do and maintain our position as a leading international public transport provider".

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"With our infrastructure, networks, expertise and contacts, we are urging businesses to grasp this opportunity with both hands," he added.

The new digital technology incubator offers successful applicants six months of free co-working space at Innovation Birmingham’s flagship multimillion-pound iCentrum building (pictured above), working alongside other talented entrepreneurs and corporate partners.

Alongside physical space, the incubator also connects SMEs with expert teams at National Express, who will offer tailored mentoring and support services alongside Innovation Birmingham's business experts.

Katharine Fuller, head of business support at Innovation Birmingham, said: "It's great to see our Serendip Smart City Incubator thriving and the addition of a new partner and more incredible entrepreneurs presents new opportunities for all.

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"We are so excited to be welcoming National Express as our latest commercial partner, joining an array of prestigious international companies on-site.

"Having globally successful partners on-site is not only beneficial for members of the incubator but also the wider Innovation Birmingham community too, acting as inspirational and motivational hubs for aspiring companies."     

Innovation Birmingham’s community currently consists of over over 170 digital technology businesses and over 1,000 techies innovating in sectors such as education, sport, finance, letting, media and transport.