AS 2016: Science audits to spotlight Northern capabilities

The Government has named its next four science and innovation audit areas in the North, as part of a £4.7bn push into research and development initiatives.

Over the past year, audits have taken place in Greater Manchester, Cheshire East, Lancashire and Sheffield. The audits aim to help places develop an evidence base for research strengths, giving them a strong basis from which to compete in national competitions for awards of science and research funding.

Two of the Government’s next four audits, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammon in his Autumn Statement, are in the North West. They cover the Liverpool City Region, and Offshore Energy, which includes Liverpool alongside Tees Valley and Humber LEPs, as well as Scottish Enterprise.

Liverpool City Council will be working with delivery partners at the Liverpool City Region LEP, the University of Liverpool and the Science & Technology Facilities Council at Daresbury to exploit synergies and identify collaborations, investments and interventions to strengthen and attract businesses. Liverpool John Moores University will also be involved.

According to a statement from Liverpool City Council, the mapping exercise will be focused on three “smart specialisation” areas of expertise; materials chemistry, infection and tackling infectious diseases, and high performance computing.

The Government’s Autumn Statement was geared towards boosting productivity across the UK, with the creation of a £27bn national productivity investment fund. Hammond allocated an extra £2bn a year towards research and development, which he said would support the Government’s emerging industrial strategy.

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Good news for Liverpool and it’s Knowledge Quarter, the Off shore element could prove to be very interesting.

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