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Regional innovation and the role of regional authorities Dr Lynn M Martin, Director of Enterprise and Innovation University of Central England

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Presentation on theme: "Regional innovation and the role of regional authorities Dr Lynn M Martin, Director of Enterprise and Innovation University of Central England"— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional innovation and the role of regional authorities Dr Lynn M Martin, Director of Enterprise and Innovation University of Central England

2 West Midlands Business Contexts – The West Midlands has received nearly £200 million in funding from EU structural schemes. – In the heart of England with 5.4 million people, a labour force of 2.7 million. 2,100 overseas companies from 40 different countries – Managers, professionals and technical staff account for 37% of the region's skills base. Skills across diverse sectors, manufacturing (460,000 employees), professional services (371,000 employees) and ICT (74,000). The largest business and professional service sector outside London.professional servicesICT – IT sector, currently growing at a rate of 20% per annum, is the recognised centre of the UK software industry. Renowned for its advanced transport technology – with 30% of all cars manufactured here. – There were a total of 145,000 new start-ups registered in the region last year across all sectors

3 Complexities in regional innovative capacity Hard factors – Policy focus that can be identified, targeted and assessed quantitatively. Examples - numbers of start-ups, qualification levels, rate of churning, numbers of patents, amount of venture capital etc. Soft factors – the entrepreneurial culture, especially, whether key actors in the national innovation system are risk averse, I.e., potential / actual entrepreneurs, those providing money and support, driving and implementing public policy, media, academia, education. Contexts. – local, regional, national, global contexts. – unfortunately even if you are not interested in the global context, actors within the global context may be interested in you!

4 Building regional innovative capacity Human capital Monetary resources Infrastructure Leadership and vision Entrepreneurial ambition

5 Regional context for business Physical and geographical factors – Abundant raw materials and natural resources – Remote or well connected by transport links – History - Urban or rural / Declining or new – High Connectivity or dial up at best Economic profile – Traditional or new industry base; clusters or corridors? – Educated work force with right skill mix – Levels of innovation, enterprise, churning, sectoral base investment in innovation,public-private sector partnerships, FDI patenting, R & D, university-industry links

6 Regional context for innovation Enterprise and innovation aspects – Who does research with whom? – Do small firms link with other firms, the research base? – What is the tradition re employment,self employment, enterprise, technology and innovation and enterprise across the region? – Convergence / uniqueness Internal and external assets – What is the regional brand or image? – What does the regional knowledge base look like? – Which linkages / networks are seen as assets across region and outside the region? – How does the region retain its departing assets, e.g, graduates

7 Questions for regions on their innovative capacity How proactive or responsive is your region? Is it part of cross-regional clusters or actions? How well does your region connect with innovation and enterprise? Can your region deal with change? Does your region have the capacity to deal with support (funds, new contacts etc) or with difficult trading conditions? Can your region reinvent itself if it has to?

8 Tangible indicators Money – Is money available for business start up, growth and exit, for innovation? – Is money available for non-traditional businesses without tangible collateral, e.g., high technology; under-represented groups – How rapidly is money available? Do people know? Regulation / links – How easy is it to start, grow or end a business or to protect IP? – How hard is it to link with large firms, universities, other small firms? Do universities, small firms etc think its worth it? – Is there a regional response to new international change or regulations?

9 Soft factors relate to the underpinning processes and enabling fabric of the region – Leadership, vision, Belief, trust, power, value – Risk – Can do or Not sure? – Confidence, – Entrepreneurial culture; innovative ambition; who is an entrepreneur or an innovator in the region? – Attitudes to innovation, biotechnology, GM, robotics Soft factors in business – Brand, attributed worth, image. Perceptions – Tone at the top

10 West Midlands responses Finance 600 different types of funding, over 760 banks and financial institutions based in the West Midlands. first region to launch Regional Venture Capital funds, with a combined value of over £20 million. regional schemes to stimulate innovation and collaboration such as Innovation Networks.Innovation Networks Specific support Accelerate –supporting the West Midlands automotive industry, harnessing resources of up to £10m per annum, plus expertise from diverse public and private sector partners, to help small and medium sized automotive firms with growth potential. Advantage Creative – speciifc support for start ups and growing firms in the creatve industries

11 Switch On Shropshire: Using Structural Funds for e-interaction Population 287,900; 0.9 persons per hectare Shropshire Service Network – 2-8 Mbs symmetric network for all schools, libraries and offices. 114 telephone exchanges of which 98 are within the County all xDSL enabled Providing free advice to SMEs plus 50% grants for: – Connectivity – Infrastructure upgrades – E-Commerce assistance 35 community broadband access centres (Broadplaces) Social Capital Innovation Learning

12 Linking initiatives together - Problem – Many students dont connect with enterprise Solution – tell a story using characters different people can connect with, in a way they find familiar Idea – Lynn Martin, UCE funded by UK govt via regional university consortium Mercia Designed / developed by Media Content Lab – a creative HE company at UCE set up with ERDF support, offering business solutions to creative needs Product - Animatronic story of 4 contestants in the Enterprise House

13 Questions for regional authorities Do you have have a clear profile of regional innovative capacity, recognising both hard and soft factors? Does your region provide the right environment to support entrepreneurship and innovation? – flexible finance, low bureaucracy, enterprising culture to support creativity, infrastructure and human capital components? Which innovation focus best fits your regional capacity and culture? Which international best practice extends your regional capacity and meets your regional needs? How can you facilitate networking and encourage cross-regional cluster development for greater critical mass?

14 Regional government needs to Recognise the level of complexity, both hard and soft factors, to have any impact on innovation and entrepreneurship Include all forms of innovation and stages of the innovation process e.g., no over-focus on specific sectors or business stage or on invention rather than commercialisation combine less bureaucracy with more flexibility in systems, allow budding entrepreneurs and innovators to grow new business roots. recognise and develop regional innovative capacity

15 Your challenge Team-work – Bring together the different actors in your region to work together, together ideas and build an innovative region Access the best players and managers – Scope the competition – Harness money and other resources to support innovation Will to win – To build an entrepreneurial culture in your own organisation to reflect the way your region should be – To be aware of external and internal factors, ready to re- invent the region when conditions change

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