The 2016 Budget reaction – N8RP

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N8 Research Partnership today welcomes the further investment in establishing a modern infrastructure for the North, in today’s budget.

Measures will include £60m initial funding into HS3 plus more than £230m for road upgrades including M62/M60, and £150m for flood defences for Northern cities and regions, the potential for the extension of the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone and a £15m investment in a new National Institute for Smart Data Innovation in Newcastle.

N8 Director, Dr Peter Simpson, added:

“A modern infrastructure is a necessary, though not sufficient, enabling condition for the region’s renaissance. Jim O’Neill has identified the importance of skills and innovation for Northern growth, and we concur with this. We believe that further targeted investment can unlock the regions potential for innovation-led economic revitalisation.

“The first wave of Science & Innovation Audits will further strengthen that evidence base. Northern innovation potential will need funding and national government support to turn it into reality. This week’s announcement of investment in Smart Data Innovation in Newcastle is a very welcome example.

Through universities working imaginatively with businesses, cities and LEPs, research strengths can be translated into innovation-led economic revitalisation. This can happen because research strengths in universities deliver both a highly skilled workforce for existing employers to grow, and new knowledge that can lead to business start-up and scale-up opportunities.

The N8 Research Partnership, by bringing together the region’s research intensive universities,  can serve as one coherent region-wide mechanism for innovation coordination.

So N8 continues to encourage the government to accelerate this economic transformation through further investing in the world-class researchers and facilities in the North.”