Call to show what the region can do when it come to innovation
Archant © 2014
Leaders and businesses in life sciences, ICT, advanced manufacturing and agri-tech have been called on to outline the region’s world-leading strengths to the government.
The East of England’s science and technology businesses are being asked set out their stall to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and follows central government’s pledge last year to pump £2bn into science and innovation.
Local Enterprise Partnerships from across the region, including the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) LEP, New Anglia LEP and Hertfordshire LEP as well as universities, businesses and research clusters, are all involved in the running of the audit.
GCGP head of innovation Steven Wilson, who is leading the consortium of industry and academia, said: “Here is our chance to say: ‘These are our key science and innovation assets of truly global significance’.
“It is about raising the profile of the region, trying to attract inward investment and getting our clusters in life science, agri-tech, manufacturing and ICT to help each other.”
Mr Wilson added that the audits across the country would help to inform where central government funding is funnelled in the future as part of the industrial strategy and other funding streams.
The report will go to government at the end of May.
Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-Tech East, said: “Any submissions which go into the audit must demonstrate nationally differentiated excellence.”
Dr Clarke added the links and shared technology between the four sectors was also important.
Jonathan Legh-Smith, head of partnerships and strategic partnerships for BT at Adastral Park, near Ipswich, said: “We want to compile what assets we have in terms of knowledge and facilities. What facilities are there out there that business can make us of?”
Sally Ann Forsyth, chief executive of Norwich Research Park, said: “We want the government to be aware of what we have and what we are ready and able to deliver.”
She said early work had already proved beneficial, adding: “The audit has been good for all of us because we know more about what each other are doing and we are already seeing greater collaboration.”