A network of 19 West Midlands manufacturing companies led by Oldbury-based Malthouse Engineering Group have been nominated for an innovation award.

The Advanced Business Development Network (ABDN) was set up to enable a group of SMEs around the West Midlands to work together to improve competitiveness and aim to win bigger contracts than they could individually.

Led by Malthouse Engineering Group, the ABDN has introduced IT systems to enable members to work together which has led to £200,000 of new business, developed by a graduate from the University of Wolverhampton through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Roy Taylor, managing director of Malthouse Engineering, said: “As manufacturers we are all very conscious of the need to use innovation as much as possible to give us an edge in a competitive global marketplace.”

The group is shortlisted in the open collaboration category in the Lord Stafford Awards for innovation. The winner will be announced on November 18.

The firms involved are Cundey Systems from Worcester, Rojac Urethane from Wednesbury, Mouldrite, Undergrear and Malthouse Engineering Group from West Bromwich, Midland Deburr and R & M Metals from Lye, MSP, Astra Engineering Pressings, Baylis Automotive, Cordelle Precision, Frederick Cooper, Matco and Momentum Engineering from Birmingham, Concept Mouldings and Crown Plastic Mouldings from Wolverhampton, Phoenix Tavlnor from Tamworth and Remploy from Stoke-on-Trent.