A new action plan has been created by Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to give innovators and entrepreneurs in Norfolk and Suffolk improved access to expertise, tools and support to help them grow.
The plan was unveiled to local innovation leaders at an event on 5 December at BT Adastral Park, near Ipswich.
Norfolk and Suffolk are home to some of the most exciting advances in life sciences, clean energy, agri-tech and the creative industries to name a few.
Innovate UK is addressing the needs of these sectors locally; for example, through the agri-tech and food-tech Launchpad which will provide up to £7.5 million of grant funding to support innovation and business growth. Creative industries are also benefiting via the £7 million investment in the Create Growth Programme.
Now Innovate UK is joining forces with the New Anglia Innovation Board to deliver a plan designed to cultivate strategic partnerships, boost innovation clusters and inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders, while addressing national and global challenges.
Indro Mukerjee, CEO Innovate UK, said: “Innovate UK is pleased to work with the New Anglia Innovation Board to launch an Action Plan to support the region’s economic growth and foster innovation.”
“Norfolk and Suffolk host significant capabilities in innovative sectors, such as life sciences, clean energy, agri-tech, and the creative industries. This Action Plan is a reflection of our commitment to work with local leaders across the UK to develop innovation strategies that recognise the strengths and opportunities in their regions.”
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair of the New Anglia Innovation Board, added: “Our regional vision for innovation is very much about collaboration across our innovation communities, clusters and hubs which collectively form the Connected Innovation network. From enterprise to research innovation, working closely with Government, we can make a difference on the world-stage tackling societal challenges through the application of science, research, technology and talent.
“We have the potential for real, positive impact and the New Anglia Innovation Board is delighted to have worked with Innovate UK to develop this exciting regional action plan which will help create a real step change in our innovation ecosystem.”
Specifically, the Action Plan promotes collaboration between Innovate UK and the New Anglia Innovation Board across three key areas:
• To cultivate strategic partnerships and boost the local economy through innovation. This involves creating co-investment opportunities, aligning investments to grow local innovation clusters, and increasing engagement with national agencies.
• Targeted innovation support to meet the needs of local businesses and entrepreneurs. This includes connecting services to boost innovation clusters in key sectors such as agri-tech, clean-tech, advanced manufacturing, and digital innovation.
• Grant mentoring and bid writing services to provide support to businesses looking to apply for innovation funding.
Communication and Engagement
• Joint efforts to reach, engage, and inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders in the region, including collaborative innovation events with local organisations.
• The plan also emphasises maximising visibility through the alignment of information on the Connected Innovation website and the Innovate UK Innovation Hub.
You can read the full Innovate UK New Anglia Local Action Plan here