West Midlands Science and Innovation Audit points the way to drive up productivity

Science and innovation could be a driving force behind the continuing economic renaissance of the West Midlands, a new report has concluded. The West Midlands Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) gives a detailed picture of local strengths and opportunities and outlines how partners such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) can help to unleash the potential.

The results of the SIA will be outlined at Venturefest West Midlands on 27June, an event bringing together more than 700 entrepreneurs, innovators and investors at the NEC. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, will be the opening keynote speaker and SWM will also be present promoting our Low Carbon Growth Support Project.

About the SIA, Andy said: “[It] 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. This is where world-class 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. Perhaps most importantly, the report gives us the evidence we need to stimulate and steer action and investment by the WMCA and partners. With the right interventions, innovation can substantially contribute to both productivity gains and the effective reform of public services.”

The WMCA and its three partner LEPs  (Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Black Country) have worked together with our partners Birmingham Science City to produce this report.

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 our public services are delivered.

SWM is encouraged that three of the four identified market driven priorities, areas in which there is existing excellence and major growth opportunities in the region, are related to sustainability and low carbon.  These are:

  • Next Generation Transport: significant opportunities for growth are provided by the next generation of rail technology, in part through links to HS2, and connections with the Midlands motorsport cluster centered in and around Silverstone.
  • Sustainable construction: grounded in the significant construction industry across the area, and the R&D and commercial development by industry of energy efficient and lower carbon building technologies.
  • Energy Storage and Systems: grounded in scientific excellence across our knowledge base, we have significant potential in the development and commercial application of a range of technologies in energy storage including batteries and hydrogen storage.

You can download the full audit here.