Traditionally excelling in innovation, the East of England is a area with a world-class reputation for research - and the East of England Development Agency has an innovation strategy designed to help businesses succeed
Innovation is an area in which the East of England has traditionally excelled. This status is reflected in the regional identity ? the East of England is the ideas region.
The region has a world-class research reputation and is home to more than 30 research institutes. There are seven universities in the East of England, including Cambridge University, Cranfield University and the University of East Anglia. The region?s long tradition of research excellence is deeply embedded as evidenced by the fact that the East of England has generated 40 Nobel Prize winners in medicine and chemistry.
Not surprisingly then, the East of England is the UK?s leading region in terms of research and development, accounting for almost a quarter of the UK?s expenditure in this area. Henk Koopmans, Head of Strategic Investments at the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) says: ? East of England Development Agency is committed to ensuring that the East of England builds on its strength as the most R&D-intensive region in the UK by creating the conditions which enable individuals, companies and research institutes to convert R&D into commercial success.?
The innovation strategy of the East of England Development Agency is designed to help businesses and institutions that want to compete through innovation to build on the region?s science base and increase the commercial exploitation of ideas.
East of England Development Agency aims to encourage open innovation through the development of physical environments that enable small and large businesses to co-locate alongside universities and research centres to encourage a greater exchange of people, knowledge and ideas. These environments range from science parks built around the region?s major multinational corporations such as BT, Unilever and GSK to smaller centres of excellence or enterprise hubs.
Alongside strengths in other areas, the East of England has clusters of international significance in ICT and life sciences.
With significant clusters of technology consultancy companies, some major corporate players, a number of research institutes and, of course, leading academic institutions, the East of England has real strengths in the digital industries and ICT sector. In the region there are more than 350,000 IT specialists employed in 14,500 ICT companies, universities and R&D institutes.
In 1978, there were around 20 high-tech companies in the Cambridge area. Cambridge has grown to become home to over 1,400 high-technology ventures employing around 43,000 people. Cambridge is now home to an international technology consultancy cluster that applies leading scientific and technological know-how to commercial needs. This cluster has played a significant role in the growth of new industry sectors such as industrial inkjet printing, and a range of applications of wireless information and communication technologies.
The cluster in Cambridge is supported by St John?s Innovation Centre, a long-established and internationally-renowned innovation centre providing a wide range of flexible accommodation and advice to early stage technology centres.
Innovation Martlesham in Ipswich is another established ICT cluster, building on the success of Adastral Park, BT?s R&D HQ which employs 3,800 people. It has attracted more than 10 major IT suppliers and six spin-out companies, as well as specialist organisations engaged in venture-funded spin outs, IP management and outsourcing. The site hosts research units of four universities, while BT and its partners on site are engaged in the development of a wide range of products and services including 21CN ? the next-generation broadband network based on the growing convergence of voice, data and computing technologies. The site offers flexible incubation space and, where appropriate, tenants are encouraged to develop close collaboration with BT research units and BT partners such as Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Prysmian and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Within the region the East of England Development Agency has 12 higher-education institutions each with significant research strengths in ICT. These include:
The East of England Development Agency is the UK?s leading region for biosciences. With 256 biotech companies, 100 med-tech companies and 370 service companies supporting the life sciences sector, the East of England is home to the most mature and successful cluster of biotechnology and life sciences companies in Europe. As such it is a major player in the global biotech economy.
The Cambridge cluster is supported by, amongst others,Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT). BBT is the commercial arm of the internationally regarded Babraham Institute, a biomedical research organisation renowned for its work in cellular signalling, immunology, neuroscience and epigenetics. BBT undertakes the Knowledge Transfer remit and business development function for the institute, developing the infrastructure of the campus to support start-up bioventures. BBT brings together the Babraham Institute's world-renowned research and outstanding facilities with industry in an ideal geographical location at the core of the Cambridge cluster, demonstrating a holistic approach to knowledge transfer and biomedical enterprise.
Over the last 20 years, Norwich Research Park (NRP) has become recognised as a world-leading centre for research and innovation in:
NRP is collaboration between the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and four independent research centres: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, the Genome Analysis Centre and the Sainsbury Laboratory. With over 9,000 people, the NRP has one of Europe?s largest single-site concentrations of research in health, food and environmental sciences.
NRP has attracted many companies of varying size, ranging from spin-out companies commercialising discoveries made from research at the NRP, commercial enterprises of the NRP member institutions, to companies who have moved to the NRP to take advantage of the facilities and the strength of the science base in the park.
Henk Koopmans, Head of Strategic Investments
East of England Development Agency
Tel: 01223 713900
Added the 27 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1