Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, the Academy’s President, says:

“Engineering is essential if we are to pivot the UK towards a more sustainable and inclusive economy and level up areas of regional economic disparity. Reinvigorating economic prosperity across different regions of the country depends on both on engineered infrastructure, and the crucial engineering skills and innovation that make this, and many other technologies that benefit society, possible. We welcome the strong and clear priority attached to R&D and innovation, including through the R&D mission, and we will work with others to encourage the maximum leverage of private sector investment to stimulate innovation and a more inclusive economy. The commitment to better quality and more granular spatial data and the importance attached to skills is also welcome.

“As Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, I am pleased to see a new Innovation Accelerator announced for the city of Glasgow. I have seen first-hand how research and innovation has helped transform areas of Glasgow and the City Region that had seen significant socio-economic challenges. I therefore encourage a continued focus on innovation endeavour to transfer the strength of our research base across the UK into technology, engineering and high-value manufacturing, to the benefit of local communities.

“The Royal Academy of Engineering is working hard to leverage research and innovation to drive economic growth across the UK. Our Regional Talent Engines programme aims to support retention and development of engineering talent within local innovation ecosystems and help ambitious and technically minded individuals to upskill, gain confidence and launch new careers as entrepreneurs. We have just launched this programme in Northern Ireland, north west England, north east England, and Yorkshire and Humber. Long term, we aim to support new business and job creation in regions across the UK and develop a community of successful engineering entrepreneurs across each region.

“In 2020 we launched the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme, a regional programme in partnership with WMG Warwick that provides engineering-focused STEM education support for students and their teachers to inspire the next generation of innovators in the West Midlands, and we look forward to linking this to the investment in this area announced today.”

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