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Innovation Greater Manchester blueprint could “boost economy by £7bn”


Local figures from business, academia and local government have created a blueprint for collaboration between Greater Manchester and the government which they say could create 100,000 new jobs and an economic boost of £7 billion.

The group have developed the Innovation Greater Manchester partnership to form the basis of a formal collaboration deal with the government and suggest it could contribute to the promise of ‘levelling up’ in the region.

Innovation Greater Manchester intends to accelerate the success of Greater Manchester’s existing R&D hubs in what it calls global frontier sectors. These include advanced materials and manufacturing, health innovation, and digital and creative.

It includes a focus on new and existing Innovation Zones across Greater Manchester – namely Gateway North in the North East Growth Corridor, Salford Crescent, and more.

The launch of Innovation Greater Manchester is led by Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood and GM Local Enterprise Partnership board member; and Independent Science Advisor, Professor Richard Jones, Chair in Materials Physics and Innovation Policy at the University of Manchester.

The Innovation Greater Manchester partnership blueprint proposes:

  • An umbrella organisation for all local and national partners from the public and private sectors that have a stake in Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem. 
  • A translational innovation model which would seek to deliver social and economic impacts through R&D within public and private sector organisations.
  • A focus on translating scientific excellence into productivity gains and economic growth across Greater Manchester and beyond.
  • A six-year, £250m per annum Greater Manchester Innovation Transformation Fund (GM ITF) giving Greater Manchester the tools to realise its potential, contribute more to the national economy, and compete on a level footing for national and international R&D funding in the future.
  • Working collaboratively with partners across the North on large-scale projects to put innovation at the heart of levelling up the North.
  • Including government and national agencies as members to provide a platform for Greater Manchester and national partners to work together to create a culture of innovation, co-create strategies and investment propositions, and leverage impact from local and national resources.

Chris Oglesby said: “Innovation Greater Manchester provides an exciting blueprint for Greater Manchester to work with government and other agencies to direct public sector investment where it would have the most significant economic impact, creating exciting new businesses and levelling up communities across the North.”

Professor Richard Jones said: “Innovation Greater Manchester is a signal that Greater Manchester wants to work with government to support its levelling up agenda.

“Innovation Greater Manchester is a collective effort; whose aim is that we use the skills and potential of everyone in the city-region to make and grow new businesses in the technologies of the future.”

Lou Cordwell, Chair of the GM LEP, added: “Innovation Greater Manchester is central to our Economic Vision for the city-region. The changes we want to see in our economy, like becoming more diverse and resilient, introducing better ways of working, building vibrant places, and tackling social issues, will be fuelled by innovation.

“The partnership represents an opportunity to build on our sector strengths and ensure that the benefits of R&D activity are felt across Greater Manchester and the North, supporting the UK in levelling up and achieving its ambitions for international trade.”

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