Innovation Greater Manchester is a blueprint for a partnership with Government to stimulate R&D investment and level up the North which could generate a £7 billion economic benefit and create up to 100,000 jobs across the city-region.
Led by business, scientific, academic and local government leaders, Innovation Greater Manchester is a model for leveraging science assets and strengths to support innovation-led business growth in Greater Manchester, the North West, and the wider North. It forms a key part of the Economic Vision – the plan to deliver a fairer, greener and more productive Greater Manchester economy beyond the pandemic.
Among its proposals are the creation of a single umbrella group bringing together local and national partners from the public and private sectors that have a stake in Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem, and a six-year, multimillion-pound Innovation Transformation Fund.
The blueprint also envisages a network of Innovation Zones that link labs and research institutions to industry in city centres, town centres and advanced manufacturing parks across Greater Manchester. Innovation Zones would ensure the growth fuelled by innovation brings economic and social benefits to every district, resulting in updated skills, good employment and places where people want to invest.
Collaboration supported by the Innovation Greater Manchester partnership would help commercialise the pioneering work done within the city-region’s world-leading universities and research institutions, turning this research into viable businesses that create high quality jobs and attract investment. It is closely aligned with UK national policy which seeks to deliver the Government’s laudable aims of achieving 2.4% of GDP related to R&D, establishing the UK as a science superpower and supporting international trade through global Britain.
Secretary of State backs Innovation Greater Manchester
In a video message, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), described Innovation Greater Manchester as an example of “how an area can harness its strength to produce something really special” and said the city-region would be “front and centre” as the Government devises its R&D Place Strategy. He also recognised the strength of Greater Manchester’s existing assets, including its pioneering universities, collaborative and innovative businesses, and strong local leadership.
Panel discussion: How can networks of towns and cities play a leading role in levelling up through science and innovation?
A roundtable discussion featuring commentators from some of the UK’s leading think tanks, including Onward, the Centre for Cities, and the Centre for Social Justice, underlined the role for Innovation Greater Manchester in levelling up the North.
Chaired by Chris Oglesby, interim Chair of Innovation Greater Manchester, CEO of Bruntwood and GM LEP board member, and also featuring Richard Jones, Independent Science Advisor to Innovation Greater Manchester and Professor of Materials Physics and Innovation Policy at the University of Manchester, the round table discussion addressed the urgent need to close gaps in productivity, skills and opportunity between the Golden Triangle of the South East and the other UK regions. It also examined the implications for the UK for remaining competitive internationally if the gap is not closed.