Research projects flow from new Manchester economic review

The newly formed Manchester Independent Economic Review is inviting bids from consultants to carry out research into the city's growth.

The £1.35m year-long review will be supervised by a panel chaired by Sir Tom McKillop, Royal Bank of Scotland, and aims to identify areas of untapped potential in the Manchester economy.

Other members of the panel are Diane Coyle of Manchester University, Ed Glaeser of Harvard University, Jonathan Kestenbaum from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill.

The review panel is funded by the North West Developmnent Agency, Nesta and other Greater Manchester partners. It will issue an interim report in spring 2008 and the final research will be published in autumn 2008.

The full tender notice is reproduced below:

Invitation to Tender

Manchester has a unique combination of opportunity and need. Its size and growth potential make it the natural capital of a rejuvenated North. Yet despite sustained growth over recent years, the fragility of its economic base remains evident; as does the uneven distribution of the fruits of past growth. A further and concerted effort is being made to identify the steps the private and public sectors working together need to take to fulfil the city region's potential.

The Manchester Independent Economic Review (MIER) consists of a Commission of prominent economists and business leaders, supported by a Policy Advisory Group and Secretariat, with responsibility for commissioning high quality evidence-based research to inform decision-makers in Manchester.

MIER is seeking to commission research in six areas described below. We welcome proposals from suitably experienced and qualified researchers and organisations for projects of 9-12 months duration for up to £135,000 each. Proposals should emphasise the evidence base and careful empirical research.

1 The Case for Agglomeration Economies: This project will examine the importance of agglomeration in economic growth, within the context of the Manchester City Region (MCR), and whether there is a policy role for influencing agglomeration economies.

2. Industry Sectors, Clusters and the Innovation System: This project will aim to understand the MCR's 'innovation system', in particular identifying at a detailed level the sectoral niches in which Manchester has a comparative advantage.

3. Economic Connectivity and Trade: This project will aim to understand MCR's performance in terms of trade and supply chains focusing on the experience of companies in innovation-focussed sectors; and in particular will aim to identify detailed trade linkages and complementarities, both within the MCR and between the MCR and other regions.

4. Inward and Indigenous Investment: This project will aim to understand the nature of inward and local investment in the MCR's economy. In particular it will look at the scope for increasing the value added contribution of future investment, evidence of productivity spillovers and the spread of technological innovation.

5. Labour Markets, Skills and Talent: This project will aim to study the extent to which the MCR encourages and attracts a sufficient density of highly-skilled workers by providing attractive places to live/commute, including-amenities, housing and transport, as well as labour market features).

6. Sustainable Communities: The aim of this project is to understand the reasons for economic segregation within the Greater Manchester area, in order to anticipate its potential future evolution, the consequences for economic growth and ways to counteract the negative impacts. Possible approaches include access to education, housing market impacts on economic inequality, or labour market issues.

Closing date: 30/11/2007
How to Apply

Full tender documentation and details of how to apply can be downloaded from:

For further details contact:
Rupert Greenhalgh
Head of Secretariat
Manchester Independent Economic Review
56 Churchgate House
Oxford Street
M60 7HJ
Telephone: 0161 237 4409
Fax: 0161 236 4160

If you are interested in submitting a proposal it is advised that you notify MIER as soon as possible before the deadline to express your interest.

This Review is funded by contributions from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and the North West regional Development Agency (NWDA) through the Manchester Innovation Fund.

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