Innovation in Wales: Where next?

30 March 2017

Adrian Healy from the School of Geography and Planning joined speakers on the main stage at the Plaid Cymru spring party conference earlier this month to discuss what Wales can do to support and nurture innovation.

Working at the interface of policy and research, Adrian is heavily involved in activities that engage with policy makers and practitioners. His work focuses on innovation and regional economic development, combining knowledge of innovation, education and research initiatives.

Speaking about the conference, Adrian said: “It was a good opportunity to open up the debate and recognise that we have gradually come to appreciate the importance of promoting an innovation-led economy in Wales. This is reaping rewards. Overall, Welsh firms now tend to reflect the UK average in terms of their level of innovation activity, although they tend to do so with fewer qualified employees and lower levels of internal R&D.

“One area where Welsh firms might do more seems to be in the area of collaboration, an important element nowadays in innovation. Here, firms seem to be a little less likely to enter into cooperation agreements with others, compared to UK averages, although where they do, they tend to be more open in working with a range of partners such as universities, suppliers, customers and others,” he continued”.

Adrian spoke in a Cardiff University sponsored debate, which also featured the Plaid Cymru economy spokesperson, Adam Price AM, together with Jo Foster form GE Aviation.  The discussion was chaired by plaid Cymru education spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd AM.

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, how can Wales build and maintain the networks necessary to encourage innovation? Adrian sets out his thinking in a blog for Click on Wales.