April 18, 2017
Dr. Sarah Perkins

GW4 Director Dr Sarah Perkins responds to the General Election announcement

The Prime Minister’s call for a General Election on 8 June 2017 provides an opportunity for the Great West region to make its voice heard on critical issues for our economy, industry and research base.

We will be working with our partners across the GW4 Alliance and the Great West Taskforce for Science and Innovation to ensure that each political party sets out a compelling case that recognises our region’s world-leading research and industry strengths.

Industrial Strategy response

We have extensive experience in working collaboratively to make the voice of the region heard – indeed, the metaphorical ink was barely dry on the Great West Taskforce’s response to the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper when the General Election announcement was made.

The Great West Taskforce response brought together the collective viewpoints of 36 businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), universities and research organisations in one authoritative statement. It echoed the Science and Innovation Audit in championing our region’s world-leading strengths in Advanced Engineering and Digital Innovation, highlighting exemplar projects such as the world’s first Compound Semiconductor cluster, University of Bristol’s Temple Quarter campus and the Institute for Environmental Risk.

Our response also underlined the need for cross-sectoral investment and for recognition of emerging opportunities in new energy and high value design.

The road ahead

We will continue to work with our partners to drive forward the case for place-based interventions that can address the UK’s productivity challenge.

Ahead of the General Election it is vital that all political parties recognise the potential for the Great West region to make the UK a global leader, and to outline how they plan to invest in our research and innovation ecosystem to fully realise that potential.

We are in a period of almost unprecedented political change, which brings with it unprecedented opportunity. The Great West region looks set to be an important electoral battleground and each political party must demonstrate that they will recognise and support our region as an economic and productivity powerhouse in its own right.

Image: Coventry City Council