We're playing a key role in the UK's Industrial Strategy

  • Date

    Tue 28 Nov 17

Innovation Centre

The Government’s new Industrial Strategy has highlighted our vital part in driving growth and innovation in the eastern region.

The Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost productivity and earning power across the UK and a £4.7 million project we’re leading was amongst the schemes highlighted in the document.

The Enabling Innovation: Research to Application (EIRA) project is aiming to grow the economy through improved productivity in the East by encouraging collaboration between universities and businesses.

The Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) – which includes Essex, plus the universities of East Anglia and Kent – was awarded the funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to establish a network that will support business innovation in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent.

We're connecting universities to business

Vanessa Cuthill, Director of the Research and Enterprise Office at Essex, said following the funding award in October: “We have world leading research in the east of England across our higher education sector, but the region scores lower than the UK average for productivity and growth.

“This network aims to change this by harnessing the resources of regional universities and connecting businesses with our expertise, particularly across the areas that Eastern ARC specialises in – artificial intelligence, agri-tech, and digital creative.”

Innovation Centre will drive growth

The Innovation Centre being established at our Knowledge Gateway technology and research park was also highlighted as a strategically important development.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “We’re driving growth and innovation through our Knowledge Gateway technology and research park at our Colchester Campus. Through the Knowledge Gateway we’re making a significant contribution to delivering the UK’s Industrial Strategy through job creation and improving productivity.”

AI and life sciences are a priority

Five key themes are being focused on in the Industrial Strategy - Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places.

The Government has also announced sector deals for life sciences and artificial intelligence – two of our research strengths – plus construction and the automotive industries.

Essex is also well placed to meet the four ‘grand challenges’ set out for the future of the UK – putting the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution; becoming a global leader in the way people, goods and services move; maximising the potential shift to clean growth; and innovating to meet the needs of an ageing society.

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