BT senior researchers have taken a leading role in the East of England Science and Innovation Audit
The audit is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In Autumn 2015, the UK Government announced regional Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) to catalyse a new approach to regional economic development. SIAs enable local consortia to focus on analysing regional strengths and identify mechanisms to realise their potential. In the East of England, a consortium was formed to focus on our strengths in Life Sciences, Agri-tech, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AM&M) and ICT. The report presents the results which includes broad-ranging analysis of the region’s capabilities, the challenges and the substantial opportunities for future economic growth.
The region’s scientific assets – whether vested in universities, research institutions or private sector R&D – and innovation capabilities have a distinctive geography. The Cambridge area is outstanding in terms of the breadth and depth of its scientific assets and credentials – and the power it can exercise in attracting the very best talent. There is a cluster of world-class research intensive institutions in Norwich (focused on Life Sciences and Agri-tech); Adastral Park is a nationally significant asset for ICT; and there are emerging opportunities linked to the University of Essex and its Knowledge Gateway.
BT’s Research & Innovation’s Managing Director, Prof Tim Whitley said: “ The East of England’s Science and Innovation Audit has uncovered an extraordinary depth of world-class ICT capability in our region. It demonstrates that the region’s expertise has contributed to the UK’s position as the largest digital economy of the G20 nations, underpinned by a world-class digital infrastructure. The research and innovation undertaken in universities and businesses across the East of England in areas such as data science, predictive analytics, cybersecurity and AI continue to impact on every aspect of our society. I am confident that if we focus on open, collaborative innovation across the region then the East of England will remain at the heart of the UK’s economic prosperity.”