In his speech at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester today, George Osborne says that together, our northern cities can be more than the sum of their parts and that their geographical proximity can enable them to collaborate more for collective success. He highlights the role that the northern universities can play in bringing this about and calls upon them to rise to the challenge of delivering game-changing ideas for the future.
Responding to the Chancellor’s comments, Sarah Jackson, Director of the N8 Research Partnership, said:
“The Chancellor’s recognition that universities have an important role to play in helping our cities take on the world is music to our ears, but it is by no means a new concept for the N8 universities.
“Since 2007, the eight research intensive universities of the North of England – Newcastle, Durham, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, and Lancaster – have delivered collaborative R&D programmes which combine the complementary capabilities across all eight universities. Much of this has taken place in partnership with industry, and we are pleased that the Chancellor acknowledges that our universities are leading the way in collaboration between academics and industry.
“Initiatives such as the N8 Industry Innovation Forum (N8IIF), which we set up in response to industry feedback, act as a catalyst for open innovation by matching industry needs with new insights from the research base to create new conversations and new partnerships in key challenge areas such as industrial biotechnology, healthy and active ageing and advanced materials. Similarly, the N8 High Performance Computing facility is being used by academics working with companies to support the development of cutting edge R&D.
“This activity, along with Regener8, our translational centre for regenerative medicine, which is working with partners from the N8 universities, industry, and beyond to translate research into clinical benefits and commercial opportunities, demonstrates how our universities are already developing the groundbreaking ideas that the Chancellor has called for.
“Our philosophy is based on a collaborative approach to leverage the ‘power of eight’ – the combined, critical mass of world-class research power that exists across all eight institutions. By working together and with industry, the N8 universities have already taken steps to realise the vision of a northern powerhouse.”