30 Mar

LLEP innovation strategy milestone reached as actions proposed

LLEP Innovation Board strategy away day at HORIBA MIRA

The emerging LLEP Innovation Strategy moved forward a stage as leaders from the public, private and university sectors came together to help shape actions.

A gathering at Mira Technology Institute saw a host of professionals join LLEP officers in suggesting practical ideas for delivery of Innovation priorities. Helping a LLEP innovation strategy milestone to be reached.

Innovation is one of four pillars in the LLEP’s Economic Growth Strategy and the strategic document, which runs through to 2030. The Growth Strategy sets out four priorities for Innovation in the region. They are:

  • Supporting global innovation leadership. Maximising Leicester and Leicestershire’s R&D strengths and innovation achievements from its universities and corporates.

  • Increasing innovation activity in SMEs. Using work already done through the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme (MIT REAP) to supercharge entrepreneurship in small businesses.

  • Pioneering and applying emerging and new technologies. Helping businesses be more competitive and resilient while making full use of regional specialisms in ICT, artificial intelligence, high performance computing, cyber security and digital technology.

  • Innovating for sustainability. Supporting businesses to make the changes they need to survive and thrive as the economy transitions to sustainability and market regulations and customer expectations shift.

This week’s gathering at the Mira Technology Institute was designed to gather ideas for the practical actions needed to drive progress in each of the priorities. The actions will ultimately help to inform delivery of LLEP Innovation Strategy.

Among those contributing were Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chair of the LLEP Innovation Board, Vice-Chair, Andy Reed OBE, and Board director, Neil McGhee.

LLEP innovation strategy milestone reached at this session was a key milestone for the Innovation Strategy, with a raft of suggestions captured by delegates and officers. Ideas will now be distilled to 5-6 options, to be presented to the Innovation Board at a future meeting. Once agreed, the LLEP Innovation Steering Group will oversee implementation.

Dr Kotecha said:

It was important to understand what innovation means in each of the diverse sectors operating in Leicester and Leicestershire so that we can better connect and support our region’s SMEs as they innovate and grow.

By having in the room at Mira representatives of public, private and academic organisations of all sizes, we were able to gather pages of suggestions which will ultimately offer something for everyone.

Our next step is to shape that into five or six clear actions, which will push forward an inclusive innovation agenda as we show that all organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire can make changes that will boost profitability and productivity.