Response to HEPI report on regional research and levelling up

21 October 2021

In response to the HEPI report Catching the wave: harnessing regional research and development to level up, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

“Given the vital economic role research-intensive universities play at the heart of many of the UK’s cities and their surrounding towns, investing in university-led R&D could have a transformational impact on communities across the country.

“The UK is home to some to of the world's leading innovation clusters based around our world-class universities – in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester – that are magnets for high-skilled jobs and global investment. The challenge now is to nurture and scale up emerging vibrant innovation clusters based around centres of technological excellence – like the advanced manufacturing centre in Sheffield or the science and technology hub in Newcastle – so they can deliver skills, jobs and investment for all parts of the country.

“To deliver on its ambition of levelling up and spreading opportunity, the Government should seize the opportunity in the Spending Review to drive regional R&D growth by scaling up funding to innovation schemes with a track-record of delivering returns on public investment, and other measures to boost innovative businesses, like reforming VAT rules and eligibility for R&D tax credits.”

The Russell Group briefing on Levelling-up through regional innovation clusters can be found here.

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