The Black Country's leading business organisation and its premier higher educational institution are joining forces to help new enterprises to thrive.
Black Country Chamber and Wolverhampton University are working on an action plan to implement the multimillion pound Black Country Incubation Strategy.
The strategy is designed to support new and existing "knowledge-based" firms with " demonstrable growth potential".
It was drawn up for Black Country Consortium, an umbrella organisation of local councils, private and public sector bodies and the voluntary sector, which is devising a blueprint for the economic and social development of the area over the next 30 years. The incubation strategy is a key part of that blueprint.
The chamber and the university's Competitiveness Centre have formed a partnership to deliver the BCIS. Other partners may be introduced as the action plan is developed.
John Reader, chief operating officer of Black Country Chamber & Business Link, said: "The formation of this partnership marks a major development for the area. The university has a deserved reputation for launching innovative new enterprises, particularly at Wolverhampton Science Park.
"As a chamber, we have the ability to assemble and coordinate a pool of expertise that will help these young businesses to thrive. We know what new businesses need and understand how to channel that assistance effectively.
"Our vigorous and proactive approach to incubation will help improve the quality of the Black Country business base."
The Black Country's two regeneration zones, Arc of Opportunity and Future Foundations, have allocated funds for incubation projects and applications for that funding need to be made by January 2006.