New Reports Prove UK is ‘Science Powerhouse’


Business Minister Lord Prior has launched the latest wave of Science and Innovation Audits at Venturefest East today (Thursday 21st September 2017), including one developed for the East of England.

Science & Innovation Audits are a ‘deep dive’ survey of cutting-edge innovation taking place in industry and the public sector. They have been conducted to better inform central Government of regional strengths for potential future funding streams, and to assist with foreign direct investment.

In the East of England, the Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) was developed by local partners and focused on four themes: Life Sciences; Agri-Tech; Advanced Manufacturing and Materials; and ICT. These four themes represent some of the world’s most influential businesses, ranging from ARM Holdings and HP Autonomy to GSK and Ford.

It also continues to attract substantial investment in “the next generation” of early stage business: it is, for example, estimated that over £500m has been invested in Life Sciences companies on Babraham Research Campus over the last two years alone. The region as a whole is attracting the interest of the corporate, with major recent investors include Huawei, Google, Apple Microsoft, Astra Zeneca,Pfizer, Imagination Technologies, Johnson Matthey, Raytheon, Arrow Electronics, Multimatic and Geely.

Business Minister Lord Prior said:

“The Science and Innovation Audits we are publishing today highlight the innovative strengths in regions across the UK and the significant growth and investment opportunities they present.

“Together with our record investment of an additional £4.7 billion for research and development to 2020/21, we are working closely with regional businesses and partners to ensure the ambitions set out in these reports are delivered to maintain our status as a science powerhouse.”

Steven Wilson, Head of Innovationat Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and Chair of the SIA Steering Group said:

“The Steering Group is proud to present this survey of Science & Innovation inour region, focusing on Life Sciences, Agri-Tech, Advanced Manufacturing &Materials and ICT. The East of England is uniquely placed to explore and exploit areas of convergence, given the confluence of world-class universities and industry with wide and deep expertise, combined with our exceptionally strong innovation ecosystem.”

Chris Starkie, Managing Director, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“This is an important document to better inform central Government of our region’s strength for potential future funding streams, and assist with foreign direct investment. It’s a huge vote of confidence in the world class sectors –including life sciences, Agri-Tech, advanced engineering and ICT – which are such a key part of our economy.”

Paul Witcombe: Enterprise and Innovation Manager, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership,said:

“I am delighted that Hertfordshire and its science base has made a significant contribution to the development of the region’s Science and Innovation Audit.  Our leading research organisations, Rothamsted Research, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and the University of Hertfordshire – with the LEP – have had key roles in identifying Hertfordshire’s contribution to mapping the region’s comparative strengths in the four audit schemes and in particular Agri-Tech and life sciences.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth; Regeneration and Partnerships Essex County Council and Board Member of South East LEP said:

“We welcome the launch of this audit which highlights the exciting opportunity to develop the Essex economy as a centre for world class science and innovation.”

Peter Oakley, Associate Director of TWI, said:

“TWI was very happy to lead the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing theme of the East of England Science and Innovation Audit. The analysis demonstrated the existing strengths of the region in the theme area, and moreover the opportunities for development by co-ordination of the widespread resources and skills. These science and innovation assets are important for the growth of the region, and also key to its continued strength as an innovation hub for industry in the rest of the UK and worldwide.”


Miranda Knaggs, Interim CEO ofStevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said:

“The SIA has enabled us to map for the first time the full extent of life sciences expertise and connectivity across the East of England.The picture that emerges is of a remarkably rich and dynamic ecosystem, full of growth potential and a major contributor to the success of the UK life sciences industry.”


JonathanLegh-Smith, Head of Partnership and Strategic Research at BT, said:

“The East of England’s Science and Innovation Audit has uncovered an extraordinary depth of world-class ICT capability in our region. It demonstrates that the region’s expertise has contributed to the UK’s position as the largest digital economy of the G20 nations, underpinned by a world-class digital infrastructure.”


AndrewSpencer, Head of Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation at Rothamsted, said:

“Agri-Tech is entering an exciting time with new technologies driving us towards smart, precision agriculture. This Audit not only demonstrates the importance of Agri-Tech to the East of England, but also highlights the areas in which the region can lead the way in the future.”


You can download the full Science and Innovation Audit for the East of England here: