Science revolution key to success West Midlands economy could be transformed, claims major report
CUTTING edge scientific research and innovation could drive the West Midlands economy to future success, a new report has claimed.
The region is leading developments in advanced engineering in the motor industry – such as battery powered and driverless cars, to pharmaceutical and medical research and digital technology.
And now a report funded by three West Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – called the Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) – is set to guide further investment and growth in this sector.
The results of the SIA was presented at Venturefest West Midlands this week, at an event bringing together more than 700 entrepreneurs, innovators and investors at the NEC.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “The SIA is really important piece of work as it sets out the market strengths the West Midlands enjoys in key sectors where we have a competitive advantage in the future. For example, these include some of the advanced engineering industries such as driverless and battery vehicle manufacture and design.
“This is where worldclass innovation organisations like the Warwick Manufacturing Group and Manufacturing Technology Centre and tier one producers like Jaguar Land Rover have established a leadership role, meaning we are currently in a race with Germany and the United States to be the global leader in this sector. It also includes technologies for health, where our diverse, young population gives us a unique advantage in terms of clinical testing, meaning the West Midlands can be at the forefront of research that can save lives. “And digital and data as an enabling competence– which I believe is the glue that holds all of our sectors together. The digi- tal and tech sector has been responsible for almost a third of all inward investments into the West Midlands since 2010 and employs some 70,000 people.
“Perhaps most importantly, the report gives us the evidence we need to stimulate and steer action and investment.”
The West Midlands SIA comes in a year which has seen a dramatic increase across the UK in the profile of science and innovation as a key driver of productivity and its potential to improve the way public services are delivered.
> Mayor Andy Street