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Essex led project could unlock £26m to boost business productivity in the East

  • Date

    Thu 21 Mar 19

The University of Essex is leading a £50,000 project that could bring further Government investment worth up to £26m to the Eastern region to help local industries increase productivity. 

Essex is one of twenty-four ambitious projects that received early-stage funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop full-stage bids that could lead to significant economic growth in places across the country.

Each of the shortlisted projects from the first wave of the UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund has been awarded up to £50,000 in early-stage funding, which will allow applicants to develop full-stage bids. Teams behind these projects will submit their bids to UKRI in late 2019.

If successful Essex is looking to secure £26m to carry out projects designed to drive substantial economic growth in the region.

The University of Essex-led bid aims to improve the productivity of the local rural industry by improving its value and supply chains by bringing together researchers, industry and primary producers.

“The University of Essex is delighted to be the lead partner on this exciting project that will for the first time bring together researchers and primary producers from across the East of England. This regional intervention is in line with the objectives of the UK Industrial Strategy to stimulate greater investment in Research and Development to drive innovation.”
Dr Robert Singh Deputy Director (Enterprise) at the University of Essex

Essex will work alongside the University of Hertfordshire, Middlesex University, the John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and NIAB and has full support of South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Essex County Council and Herts Local Enterprise Partnership. Agri-Tech East, the East of England Agri business network, is also a key partner to the bid.

The East of England is uniquely placed to undertake this programme of innovation in having both substantial capabilities from the University of Essex and local industry but also a largely rural geography where communities would directly benefit from the improvements in productivity forecast.