Plans to turbo charge the UK’s most innovative businesses will fall flat if the Government keeps creating its plans in Whitehall, rather than the regions. That is the message from Metro Mayor Dan Norris as the Government unveiled itsNew Innovation Strategy.
The Government laid out how it will specify ‘innovation missions’ to set the direction for science at a national level. There will be greater ministerial control than ever before with a new committee chaired by the prime minister leading to concerns about additional centralisation and more political control of research budgets.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “There’s a pattern emerging here and I don’t want to see money diverted towards Tory pet projects. It needs to go to the best science. There needs to be much greater dialogue with Metro Mayors on what our key industrial and innovation priorities are. We in the West of England know what our economy needs and the government shouldn’t be working in splendid isolation. That’s not a recipe for success.”
Experts have also warned that the Government needs to take the opportunity to help unlock the potential of the UK’s regions. The Russell Group highlighted the need to support existing and new regional innovation clusters with research-intensive universities at their heart, to bring “high-skilled jobs and investment to all regions of the country.”
Dan Norris continued: “From Brunel to Concorde our region has always been at the heart of innovation. I will always champion our engineers, scientists and innovators. If the Prime Minister had asked I would have told him how the West of England is a global leader in Quantum computing and high-tech manufacturing using composite materials. We need a laser like focus on what our region does best to get the very best results bringing high skilled jobs to our region in turn helping boost U.K. PLC.”