Designed to feed into the Government's 'levelling up' and R&D investment agenda, CaSE's report 'The Power of Place' examines how to maximise the local economic impact of greater R&D intensity across the regions and nations of the UK.
Investing in regional R&D can play a significant role in reaching the Government’s target of increasing R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, and 3% in the long-term. The challenge of encouraging regional economic growth is likely to be even more important as the UK emerges from the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic and looks to rebuild its economy.
The report's findings are based on views gathered from over 80 contributing organisations through an extensive consultation exercise across the UK, conducted over the last 18 months, including roundtables in Edinburgh, London, the West of England, the West Midlands, and the North East. You can find more about all our place work here.
The findings from the report are as follows:
Excellence and Branding
- Brand new regions of excellence can’t just be grown from scratch. Investment should be focussed on R&D excellence that already exists nationwide, whatever its size.
- Brand is important: Regions need to develop their pitch for national and overseas investment.
- Strong leadership is needed from local government, civic groups and the research sector
- The best examples of regional R&D growth have been driven by strong civic leaders
- Central and local government need to work together
Support small business
- SMEs need a helping hand from local and national government to secure academic collaborations
- A replacement for EU structural funds, that build research capacity and support small and local businesses, needs to be found
The report also highlights regional R&D strengths across the UK, from the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Yorkshire and city deals in Northern Ireland, to the Innovation Centres program in Scotland and the South Wales Compound Semiconductor Cluster.
The launch of the report was accompanied by a video from the UK Science Minister, Amanda Solloway MP, welcoming the report.