The North has nationally and internationally significant science and innovation strengths that have the potential to drive up productivity, growth and competitiveness. However, these strengths, and high levels of research and development (R&D) investment by northern businesses, are not currently matched by government investment. There is also a lack of effective coordination between the North’s innovation assets. As a result the North has a persistent and longstanding innovation performance gap with the rest of the UK.

Scientist working in laboratory
Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rotherham

Driving Investment and Collaboration

The current national approach to innovation funding favours more prosperous areas of the country and academic institutions.

Instead, we want to see government investment targeted through a place-based, private sector-led approach, focusing on those industries and places that have nationally and internationally competitive potential. We believe this is the only way to achieve the Government’s target of 2.4% R&D investment in the North.

This must go hand-in-hand with boosting the role of local areas in unlocking innovation, so that government funding is aligned with local business support, university and industrial investment to build innovation capacity in the right areas.

In the North this means a particular focus on clean energy and life sciences as sectors in which we are leading the way for the whole UK.

Our Ambition

In collaboration with the North’s LEPs, businesses, research institutions, networks and hubs, national R&D agencies, and Government we aim to harness the North’s innovation strengths in a purposeful way: one that will help us solve global issues such as the climate emergency and health inequalities, while also levelling up the North’s economy.

Alderley Park, Cheshire
Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rotherham