Innovation is increasingly viewed as the key driver to improving productivity across the UK. Businesses that innovate grow faster than those that do not, and innovating economies are
more resilient to market and technology change, and better equipped to plot their own futures than those that do not. Sub-nationally, innovation was identified as one of the key enablers of the Northern Powerhouse. Internationally, work by the Organisation of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) is highlighting the importance of innovation, as technology brings once distant markets increasingly close to one another. So, innovation matters, and must increasingly be an imperative for how Lancashire ‘works’.
The desire for innovation to drive productivity is increasingly prevalent across the North and within Lancashire. The North has significant innovation assets on which to build and develop to close the productivity gap with the rest of the UK. Lancashire has substantial innovation assets, and innovation potential, to play a leading role in driving innovation and improving productivity in the North. It is home to leading global businesses at the cutting edge of innovation in advanced manufacturing, supported by a supply chain cluster of high tech SMEs. These high value-add businesses are amongst the most productive in the country. Our strong manufacturing base is spearheaded by aerospace, automotive and energy industries but we have other key sectoral strengths including digital and healthcare. We are also home to high performing universities and Further Education providers, including national centres of research excellence.