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UEA brings together regional businesses to develop Industrial Strategy collaboration

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has brought local businesses together this morning (14 March) to discuss the government’s Industrial Strategy, what it could mean for this region and opportunities to collaborate in order to deliver it.

The government published its Industrial Strategy white paper, 'Building a Britain fit for the future', in November 2017. The strategy sets out how to focus productivity, tackle challenges and foster partnerships between industry and government. 

The Industrial Strategy Business Breakfast was hosted by UEA’s Vice Chancellor, Prof David Richardson and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Prof Fiona Lettice. 

They introduced the five foundations of productivity identified by the strategy; ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment, and place, and led a discussion on how these can be strengthened throughout the region, with support from the University.

UEA has received additional Higher Education Innovation funding to support and develop collaborations with business via projects linked to the Industrial Strategy. It is hoped local projects will drive growth, prosperity and productivity in the East of England. 

UEA’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Richardson, said: “The industrial strategy is ambitious but it is great to see UEA and Norwich Research Park identified as key to its success locally. 

“Part of our vision 2030 is to deepen UEA’s engagement with our community, particularly with business and enterprise. 

“As local organisations, we must continue to work together to develop partnerships and leverage investment in this region.”

Prof Fiona Lettice, added: “We have world class research and expertise to share and by working together on the four challenge areas and five foundations we can learn from each other’s good practice and innovate to accelerate economic growth and productivity within the region and beyond.”

Prof David Richardson and Prof Fiona Lettice were joined by guest speaker Johnathan Reynolds, Director at Nautilus Associates, who spoke passionately about what the strategy means for the offshore energy sector, and how UEA funding and expertise can support collaboration across different industries and sectors. 

Jonathan said: “The industrial strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk presents us with a massive opportunity to do things differently and to collaborate. 

“We need to recognise that power and energy infrastructure underpins business across the economy and investing in this presents a huge opportunity for change.”

Rebecca Lewis-Smith, UEA Alumnus and Managing Director at Digital Marketing Agency Fountain Partnership who also spoke at the event, said: “The way the service industry treats its people in order to develop a healthy and happy workforce is crucial in delivering successful services.”

Attendees included representatives the East of England Co-operative Society, New Anglia LEP, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Barclays, the Federation of Small Businesses, Jarrold and Norwich City Council.

If you have a project or idea which could help to meet the objectives of the Industrial Strategy and would like to know more about UEA funding opportunities, email: business@uea.ac.uk or visit: www.uea.ac.uk/business.