The Regional Innovation Strategy

Why do we have a Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS)?

The Regional Economic Strategy (RES) says that to maintain competitive advantage, our region must focus on enterprise, innovation, investment and skills. The RIS is the response to that innovation component.

Why is Yorkshire Forward involved?

Yorkshire Forward is the public agency which has responsibility for working with partners to increase the levels of innovation in Yorkshire & Humber. This refers to levels in industry, as well as to the co-operation and collaboration between industry and our universities.

Who developed the plan?

It was put together by Yorkshire Science, a team comprising senior academics from the region’s leading universities; high-ranking executives from some of our top science-related companies; a senior bank executive; a representative of the Government Office for Yorkshire & Humber; the executive director of business development at Yorkshire Forward; and a member of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils.

Who are our partners in this strategy?

They include businesses, higher-education and research centres (such as universities), finance institution (such as banks), and local and sub-regional public sector bodies (such as the Government Office for Yorkshire & Humber). The RIS provides a way for these different partners to work together for the benefit of the region.

How will people work together?

The RIS encourages collaboration in the form of strong networks of scientific and technological competence. These networks are designed to support the work of our globally competitive companies as well as our world-class academic communities, and to encourage them to work together.

How does it fit with innovation elsewhere?

The strategy is aligned with UK and EU objectives for competitiveness and growth—including the objectives outlined by the BERR Technology Strategy Board and the Science & Innovation Investment Framework. To fit with the objectives of the EU, this strategy helps to deliver appropriate aspects of the renewed Lisbon Agenda.

What’s in the plan?

The strategy is built around four major themes:
  • Growing the region’s innovation culture—R&D in our region runs at 0.5% of income—half the national average. Therefore, more businesses need to be inspired to innovate, in order to achieve sustained growth and profitability. A network of high-profile innovation champions is being set up, whose role will be to encourage business innovation, and to connect research excellence with business opportunity
  • Developing a region-wide innovation environment—the region has hot-spots of innovation activity, but these need to be connected across the region through innovation hubs and satellites. Within these, support will be available in the form of creativity, design, leadership, financial portfolio and management, IPR and regulation. Innovation parks will be developed
  • Targeted European engagement—it is essential that organisations across the region use the opportunity to participate fully in the EU Framework programmes. They need to form strategic alliances with other regions in order to exchange knowledge and good practice, and to use funding most efficiently
  • Working together across the North—collaboration between the three Science Councils of the three Northern regions have led to a ‘vision for the North’, and the understanding that we need value-added, cross-regional cooperation.