Responding to today’s budget, Dr Annette Bramley, director of the N8 Research Partnership, said: “We welcome the government’s support for Investment Zones, particularly the recognition of the importance of universities across the North of England in unlocking the potential of key future sectors for our economy and achieving net zero. 

“The brilliance of our northern universities was recognised in this budget through the announcement of a new national AI award – the Manchester Prize – named after The University of Manchester’s invention of the world’s first stored program computer.  

“Our universities are committed to deploying research excellence to improve the world around us – and it is this dedication that will ensure that Investment Zones drive productivity and create new innovation ecosystems across our region. We look forward to working with our partners across industry and government to make that happen for the benefit of the whole of the country.”