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#PlaceBasedInnovation: West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy

techUK’s head of local public services reviews the first Local Industrial Strategy

Last week the West Midlands Combined Authority unveiled their West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy. Developed locally and agreed with government, this Local Industrial Strategy sets out the priorities to increase the productivity of the West Midlands and the national economy.

Digital is the golden thread through the Strategy – from helping to improve citizen outcomes to helping achieve new market opportunities.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The West Midlands is already home to the industries of tomorrow. We have some of the world’s most competitive and innovative companies in advanced manufacturing, electric and autonomous vehicle development and medical research.

“This Local Industrial Strategy also shows how we can become a global player in the digital and creative industries. The Strategy will build on these strengths to release the region’s full economic potential for the benefit of all communities across the entire West Midlands.

“It will help us tackle issues like air pollution and climate change while creating a robust economy for the future – one that delivers decent, well paid jobs for local people and the right conditions for competitive, world leading businesses to thrive and grow.”

Commitments include:

  • Delivering on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which aims to be at the forefront of the development of cleaner, safer, easier and more reliable future modes of transport, cementing the West Midlands’ position as the UK’s automotive heartlands;
  • Playing a leading role in the UK’s trials of connected autonomous vehicles, with the West Midlands aiming to deploy the first fully operational connected autonomous vehicles in advance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games;
  • Putting the West Midlands at the heart of transport innovation in the UK by delivering the UK’s first large-scale 5G testbed; and
  • Helping meet the Artificial Intelligence and Data Grand Challenge by supporting the development of a West Midlands Translational Medicine and Med-Tech commission to accelerate the ‘lab to patient’ ecosystem.

Georgina Maratheftis, Head of Local Public Services, at techUK stated:

“In their Local Industry Strategy, the West Midlands have gone some way to put in place the conditions and ambition to stimulate further innovation and new market opportunities. We hope the other Local Industry Strategies take note recognising the importance of digital as a golden thread in driving economic growth and improving outcomes for the place through data-driven public services. Key to its success is collaboration across the region and with industry. We look forward to working with the West Midlands Combined Authority and key places across the regions eco-system to make the ambitions set out in the Local Industrial Strategy.”

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