Juergen Maier, Joanne Roney and Cllr Neil Emmott have responded to the Innovation Strategy launched today by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, which includes £22.6m in funding for the Rochdale-based Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI)’s five-year innovation initiative.
Juergen Maier, Chair of the Greater Manchester Graphene, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Alliance (GAMMA) and Innovation Greater Manchester steering group member, said: “We welcome the plans outlined by the Government, which recognise innovation must be at the forefront of our plan for growth.
“It is fantastic to see the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI) receiving further support. The AMPI will create a centre of manufacturing excellence in and around Rochdale, and will be a major asset for the manufacturing sector in the wider North. It is a prime example of what can be achieved when partners from industry, academia and local and national government work together.
“Through Innovation Greater Manchester we have a blueprint for replicating this approach across our city-region, with Innovation Zones across our towns and cities creating jobs, attracting investment and generating world-changing ideas.
“The Prime Minister said in his Levelling Up speech that areas should come forward with a plan underpinned by strong, accountable leadership – that is exactly what we are doing through AMPI and the wider Innovation Greater Manchester vision.”
Joanne Roney, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Lead Chief Executive for Economy, said: “Supporting innovation will be crucial to our national ambitions of levelling up the country and sustaining the economic recovery beyond the pandemic.
“To fulfil the ambitions it has set out, the Government must commit to working closely with regional partners to ensure places can reach their full potential. Innovation Greater Manchester is our blueprint for harnessing the innovation that already goes on – a dynamic partnership driving benefit from the research excellence of our universities and creating new high-quality employment across the city-region.
“From the Industrial Revolution through to the development of graphene, Greater Manchester has been a global centre for advances in science and technology. Today we have world-class assets in areas like health innovation and advanced materials, as well as digital and low carbon, and stand ready to support the jobs and industries of the future.”
Councillor Neil Emmott, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The incredible AMPI project, which received another boost earlier this year from the Towns Fund, will be a game changer. It will transform our borough into a major centre of activity for advanced machinery, which will see the National Physical Laboratory, universities and companies all come together to harness cutting edge technology and create hundreds of highly skilled jobs on our doorstep.
“These types of projects are often the preserve of big cities, but from our days as a global leader in the textile trade, we’ve always liked to do things differently here. That’s why we’re working hard through our growth plan to futureproof our economy and keep bringing those new and rare opportunities into the borough.
“I’m proud that the council, Rochdale Development Agency, local businesses and education partners have worked together with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the National Physical Laboratory to make this project a reality. It has been an incredible boroughwide effort, but its impact will be felt on a regional and national scale.”