Cutting edge collaboration.
From Airbus A380 wings to Wallace and Gromit, the West of England has many reasons for being the powerhouse of the South West
Made up of Bristol, Bath and key centres in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the West of England is highly regarded for its business strengths, good access to markets, well-qualified workforce and an excellent quality of life.
Bristol and Bath form one of the six Science City Regions of England recognised by UK government for outstanding achievement in world-class scientific research and innovation in academic and industrial sectors. This successful and vibrant area has particular strengths in aerospace and advanced engineering, ICT and silicon design and creative technologies. Over 22% of the workforce is employed in knowledge-intensive industries and alongside more traditional expertise is a growing presence of new and exciting sectors including bioscience and environmental technologies.
The West of England supports the largest aerospace and advanced engineering cluster in the South West. Nine out of the twelve largest aerospace companies in the UK have major facilities here, including Airbus, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems, and they are supported by more than 700 supply chain companies. The sub-region is also home to the biggest silicon design cluster anywhere in the world outside Silicon Valley, with key players in wireless communications, photonics and semiconductors, including Orange, Toshiba and HP Labs.
With the BBC?s Natural History Unit and Oscar-winning Aardman Animations, Europe?s only animation studio in full-time feature film production and the creator of Wallace and Gromit, the West of England is home to the largest UK creative industries cluster outside London. Twenty-five percent of the world?s natural history films are made in Bristol, and Hollywood?s animated films (including Shrek 2) are even more realistic thanks to new technology developed at HP Labs. First-class facilities include the Watershed Media Centre and the Pervasive Media Studio, a pioneering R&D centre for ICT and creative industries collaborating on new technologies.
Bristol is committed to becoming the Green Capital of Europe and has been named as the UK?s most sustainable city. The area hosts world-class companies in renewable energy, waste management and environmental services. Major initiatives like the Bristol Environmental Technology and Services Partnership and the University of Bath?s involvement in the recently-launched Sustainable Bioenergy Centre and Low Carbon South West network are just a few examples of how the area continues to rise to the exciting challenges facing this dynamic and emerging industry.
The West of England?s economy is supported by some of the best quality higher education in the UK. The brainpower of the area?s four universities makes the Bath and Bristol City region the fourth most powerful research environment in the country. Cutting-edge collaboration between industry and academia is supported by a wide range of projects, such as the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the largest research facility in the UK for advanced robotics, and the Airbus Composite Structures Development Centre.
The Bristol and Bath Science Park (SPark) will provide a vital new resource for supporting innovation and knowledge exchange. Acting as a major hub for science and technology, and including a new innovation centre, SPark will create around 6,000 highly-skilled jobs when fully developed.
Plans include the creation of the UK?s first Silicon R&D Centre, while a consortium led by Airbus and Rolls Royce, and including BAE Systems, Williams Formula 1 and MBDA, is looking to establish a cutting-edge Design and Simulation Technologies Research Centre for analysis of composite materials
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Added the 28 August 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-1