A BLUEPRINT FOR GROWTH – Lancashire Innovation Plan 2023 – 2028
As the cradle of the industrial revolution, Lancashire has a long tradition of embracing innovative thinking which has gone on to change the world. Today, 250 years since Richard Arkwright’s disruptive cotton spinning technology helped to reshape the global economy, our county is again on the cusp of another transformative chapter in its rich industrial history.
Through the combination of our unrivalled strengths in sectors like advanced manufacturing, telecoms, energy, aerospace, chemicals and food; our research-led HEIs, including Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire; our agile and responsive supply chains; and our highly skilled workforce and strong talent pipeline; Lancashire is well-placed to create an innovation-based investment offer which is truly world-leading.
We are also soon to be home to the National Cyber Force HQ, which will put the county at the forefront of the cyber industry, while Eden Project Morecambe is set become a hub of environmental R&D excellence.
Both these transformational projects will join a growing network of Lancashire assets which are already accelerating and commercialising innovation in sectors such as cleantech, industry 4.0, digital health, future flight, agritech, low carbon, AI and robotics.
But to maximise our full innovation potential, we recognise that the county needs a cohesive and pragmatic roadmap which connects these assets, consolidates our significant commercial and academic R&D strengths, and engages with businesses of all sizes and types.
To stay competitive, both domestically and globally, we also know we need to take a more joined-up and collaborative approach to innovation funding, lobbying, networking, and external communications.
As a result, we have developed a new, innovation-focused growth strategy for all of Lancashire.
It sets out our clear and measurable objectives – and a series of corresponding actions and interventions – via four core pillars: Grow, Expand, Connect and Tell. And while each pillar has been developed to drive our innovation economy in a very targeted and specific way, they all work together to enhance our overarching investment strategy.
However, a plan is only as good as the people and organisations who engage with it, which is why we are calling upon all of Lancashire’s business leaders, policymakers, support agencies, and wider partners, to support its vision, ambition, and implementation, in every way they can.