International experts study North prospects

INTERNATIONAL experts have touched down in the North on a fact-finding mission to help the region exploit new ideas and technology.

INTERNATIONAL experts have touched down in the North on a fact-finding mission to help the region exploit new ideas and technology.

Representatives of the world’s leading economic policy body, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have spent the week in the region, working with Northern Way to look at strategies to encourage innovation.

The OECD findings will lead to a report identifying barriers and opportunities to innovation in the North and how ideas can be translated into economic success.

The Northern Way, a collaboration led by the three northern regional development agencies, hosted the visit, which examined work by the science cities in York, Manchester and Newcastle.

The collaborative efforts of the N8 Research Centres – made up of the North’s research-intensive universities in Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York – were also highlighted as a way of enabling northern businesses to tap into world-class knowledge to gain competitive advantage.

The panel examined the process industry cluster in the Tees Valley.

Using the information gathered, the panel will now benchmark the North’s performance against global standards, look at scope for collaborations and make recommendations to national, regional and local institutions in the private and public sectors.

It will be particularly relevant to the work of the three Regional Development Agencies, who will be core partners in this work.

The Northern Way director Andrew Lewis said: “The opportunity to host the OECD has illustrated clearly the innovation potential of the North’s economy.

“Our work with the OECD will provide valuable insights to ensure we build on this success.”

The study will be explained to hundreds of regeneration experts at the Northern Way Summit next Tuesday at the Sage, Gateshead. They will hear how similar studies have been carried out to benefit major regions elsewhere in the world.

The panel will return for follow-up visits next spring and the final report will be published in the summer.

Bringing together Governments of 30 countries committed to democracy and the market economy, the OECD works to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment and contribute to growth in world trade.

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