Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
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Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark champions UK innovation at Innovate 2016

Business Secretary announces that innovation which helps local businesses grow, will be a key component of the upcoming Industrial Strategy.

  • Business Secretary announces publication of first ever Science and Innovation Audit of regions across UK
  • government empowers local businesses, universities and local authorities to identify key strengths that will boost UK productivity
  • science and innovation to be key planks of government’s upcoming Industrial Strategy

Innovation, which helps local businesses grow, will be a key component of the upcoming Industrial Strategy, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark outlined yesteday (3 November 2016) in a speech at the Innovate 2016 conference.

Opening the second day of the conference in Manchester, the Business and Energy Secretary celebrated the pioneering work already being done by businesses and universities across the UK.

He also announced the publication of the first-ever Science and Innovation Audit which maps the specific strengths of regions across the UK, praising the collaborative approach of the organisations and bodies involved. Developed by local businesses, universities and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), the Science and Innovation Audits identify key sectors for specific regions and the growth and export opportunities this presents. Areas from advanced materials and fintech to high value manufacturing and digital technologies were identified as strengths that can be used to increase international collaboration and attract inward investment.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

The UK undoubtedly has a world-renowned science and innovation sector, but key to our Industrial Strategy is building on and upgrading these strengths to unlock the potential that exists in all sectors across the UK.

As part of this work I’m publishing the first-ever Science and Innovation Audit, showing how regional strengths are boosting UK productivity. I’m pleased that local businesses, universities and local authorities have been empowered to identify further opportunities for future growth and investment.

The first 5 regions to conduct an audit were:

Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region

The City Region is already a powerhouse of Data Driven Innovation activity. It is a significant cluster in the UK and is growing fast; examples include the growing Fintech marketplace and re-inventing processes for delivery of public sector services such as healthcare, transportation, civil infrastructure and Local Authority administration.

Greater Manchester and East Cheshire

Identified 2 ‘areas’: ‘core strengths’ in health innovation and advanced materials, where there is existing, internationally-recognised excellence; and ‘fast growth opportunities’ focused on the future potential of digital, energy, and industrial biotechnology, where our assets and capabilities offer real scope for future development.

The Midlands Engine

Identified market driven priorities (advanced manufacturing and engineering; digital technologies and data; and systems integration) where there are clear economic growth opportunities and very strong alignment with the Midlands Engine’s strengths and distinctive capabilities. These are complimented by enabling competencies (next generation transport; medical technologies and pharmaceutical; future food processing; and energy and low carbon) that underpin and complement these market priorities.

Sheffield City Region and Lancashire

The region has strengths in high value manufacturing, in key sectors of aerospace, energy (particularly nuclear), transport (particularly rail), and health technology. Manufacturing capability in these sectors makes a key contribution to the economy of the wider north.

South West England and South East Wales

The work identified areas of world-leading research and innovation in advanced engineering and digital innovation including: aerospace, microelectronics, energy generation, environmental technologies, and digital systems.

The government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a world-leader in both research and innovation. By bringing together the 9 research and innovation funding bodies through the creation of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), as part of the Higher Education and Research Bill, the UK will have a unified voice and continue to support our world-leading research base to find solutions to global challenges.

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