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World-leading strengths recognised

22 March 2016

GW4 with white space

A GW4-led consortium of businesses and organisations from across South West England and South East Wales has been selected to take part in the first wave of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) Science and Innovation Audit (SIA).

The SIA will gather evidence and identify areas where the consortium holds a potential global competitive advantage in research, innovation and infrastructure.

By identifying these key areas, the SIA will highlight routes through which this potential can be realised with a view to strengthening bids for local investment from the private sector and the EU.

The consortium is comprised of a wide-range of businesses from across the region, five Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), 13 local authorities, universities, research organisations and catapults.

The ‘South West England and South East Wales Science and Innovation Audit’ will be driven by the GW4 Alliance and has been split into five main themes representing the strongest areas of research and innovation that already exists across the consortium.

They are: Aerospace and Advanced Engineering; New Energy Systems; Next Generation Microelectronics; Digital Living Innovation Platform; and Resilience, Environment & Sustainability.

During the coming months, BIS will provide the consortium with analytical support to help undertake the audits and provide essential and independent advice.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath and Chair of the GW4 Council, said: “‘This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the strength in depth of world-leading research and innovation taking place across our regions. Our well-established network of partnerships between academia and industry provides a firm foundation for business growth, enhanced productivity and a leading role for our regions in driving the UK’s future economic prosperity.”

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, created the SIAs in the summer of 2015 in an attempt to improve the UK’s capability to identify and validate where existing and growing research excellence is coupled with emerging innovation strength.

The aim of the SIAs is to build a robust and powerful evidence base, showing strong links between research organisations and businesses, which can underpin future investment decisions.

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