New action plan launched to boost innovation in West Midlands

Innovate UK and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have announced a new strategic partnership to strengthen innovation in the region.

The West Midlands Local Action Plan sets a framework to more closely align the innovation support Innovate UK and the WMCA provide to the region’s businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers with the eight primary growth clusters identified in the WMCA’s Plan for Growth.

Launched at an event at Wolverhampton University the West Midlands Local Action Plan aims to harness the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the region where James Watt perfected his revolutionary steam engine and where the UK’s first petrol driven car was made.

The Local Action Plan commits Innovate UK and the WMCA to working together in three core areas:

  • Strategic Partnerships with open and transparent discussions, based on mutual trust and co-creating and delivering this plan.
  • Innovation Support that meets the needs of local businesses and entrepreneurs, is targeted at identified priority clusters, and is informed by the expertise and data shared between our organisations.
  • Communications and engagement to ensure Innovate UK is reaching, engaging, and inspiring more entrepreneurs and business leaders to innovate.

Download the local action plan

Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “Pre pandemic, our region was the fastest growing region outside of London and I’m determined to restore this position. Harnessing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that the West Midlands is renowned for is central to achieving that mission.

“As we forge an economy fit for the 21st Century, it’s great news that we’ve secured £33m for our Innovation Accelerator. Combined with this action plan that we’re launching with Innovate UK, we hope that we will be able to bring forward further investments soon. That’s why we’re currently working with Government to explore the potential to provide tax incentives and wider support to innovative businesses located within defined Investment Zones right across our region.”

Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, said: “We are launching Innovate UK’s West Midlands Local Action Plan to support the region’s economic growth and fuel innovation. I am pleased to be working with Mayor Andy Street and the region’s business and innovation leaders to help deliver growth and productivity.”...Read more