Call for Investment in Region's Strengths

10 Nov 2016

A consortium of major businesses, LEPs and higher education institutes—including the University of West England (Bristol UWE)— have called for the UK government to strategically invest more in the integration of the region’s scientific and industrial strengths.

Creative and industrial

The South West England (SWE) and South East Wales (SEW) Science & Innovation Audit was collated by the consortium at the request of the UK government. Their main findings were that the region is:

  • Home to the largest aerospace sector in the UK
  • Pioneering automotive, nuclear, marine and marine renewables and micro-electric industries
  • Home to the biggest silicon design cluster outside the USA
  • Leading in climate expertise

Bristol UWE has also released a report identifying Bristol and Bath as the most sought-after UK hub for design and creative industries. “It’s really positive for the region that the audit has confirmed what many of us had already suspected,” says the University’s representative on the on the SWW-SIA consortium, Professor Martin Boddy.

Air pollution and the environment

The UWE centre for air quality management has collaborated with 16 European partners to determine how to reduce air pollution and improve public health. Plans are in motion to establish a Digital Innovation hub in Bristol, and an Institute for Environmental Risk and Innovation, which Professor Boddy identifies as “two key areas where we can potentially work with industry and university partners to make a real contribution to innovation and growth.”

What next?

The consortium has called for the government to invest more in this opportunity for collaborative working amongst the region’s strengths, which offers great potential benefits.

The UK government is expected to make an announcement about its Industrial Strategy in its Autumn Statement on the 23rd November.