An awards scheme that celebrates collaboration between Midland firms and universities has come to an end because of funding cuts.

The Lord Stafford Awards, which was created to support growth and economic prosperity and has been running for 15 years, will not return next year after funding dried up.

Lord Stafford revealed the move at this year's award ceremony at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. He said: "It is with regret that the Lord Stafford Awards, after 15 excellent years, has come to a close. There are really three main reasons, the first being the understandable financial challenges since the closure of Advantage West Midlands, which considered the awards a part of their innovation strategy. Second, while once the Lord Stafford Awards were quite unique, now there are other awards which include a large part of what we do."

Lord Stafford also said in many ways the awards have achieved what he set out for by increasing collaboration with universities.

Among the winners in this years awards were Bioscience Ventures, a joint venture between the University of Birmingham and Abingdon Health, in the open collaboration category and Vale Brothers with Coventry University for innovation.

Birmingham City Council and University of Birmingham won the environmental award and the knowledge transfer partnership award was picked up by Clive Durose and Staffordshire University.