Energy Estuary 2.0: fuelling inclusive economic growth in the Humber
Lead organisation: University of Hull
Our vision is to create a resilient innovation driven economy taking full advantage of clean energy investments in the Humber. Innovations in energy storage, conversion, distribution and demand management will boost the regional economy, whilst a parallel programme of energy from waste and low energy innovations will engage and empower the local population, raising aspirations, developing skills and creating new ventures and jobs, as well as improving local economic and social wellbeing.
Our programme will establish the Humber Estuary as the most energy resilient region of the UK, with an engaged workforce, enhancing the area for inward investment by energy intensive industry.
In 2006 the Energy Estuary concept was created. Centred around Green Port Hull and the concept of delivering new economic value to the region, this programme was successful in bringing Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing facility and had triggered several key investments in renewable energy from other major industries. The coordinated activities of the Green Port Hull consortium led to the creation of over 5,000 jobs, attracting over £500 million in public and private investment and generating over £70 million GVA.
The renewable energy market is rapidly expanding and diversifying into new areas, driven by research and innovation. Producing clean energy is one thing. Storing it, converting into a flexible and resilient energy ecosystem, and mobilising it intelligently to match energy production with demand, is where the future opportunities now exist. Without these developments the utility of renewable power will be critically limited, and we must urgently make progress towards an ‘energy resilient’ ecosystem if we are to make the transition to a low carbon economy and become a global force in managing energy infrastructures. The Humber region is the perfect test bed for these new and emerging technologies, driven by the future demands and interests of industry.
A consortium led by the University of Hull will take forward a programme of 10 inter-related projects. Innovations in Power generation, Energy storage, Energy management and sustainability, Skills and Systems. This programme will create the Energy Estuary 2.0 leading to 10,000 new jobs, raise local aspirations, and leverage additional GVA of £3 to 7 billion. “This bid for the URKI Strength in Places Fund looks like a good opportunity for the consortium, and the region generally, to develop new ventures and create jobs, building on previous programmes.” – Iain Watson, Green Investment Group
The Glass Corridor – delivering world-class glass research in the Northern Powerhouse
Lead organisation: Glass Futures Ltd
Our aim is to strengthen and align existing industrial and academic expertise within the Sheffield and Leeds regions to create a globally recognised centre of excellence, or hub, in glass technology and manufacturing – the Northern Glass Corridor – which will have the capability to drive significant improvements in productivity and sustainability within the UK glass industry.
This hub will align and develop existing expertise to catalyse the development of new technologies across the glass manufacturing supply chain (raw materials, melting, forming, inspection, down-stream value-added processing, recycling and zero-carbon manufacturing of ‘carbon reducing products’ – PVs, wind-turbines and high-efficiency glazing systems).
In unifying and aligning the existing centres of glass expertise, the hub will further raise the profile of the region as a focal point enhancing cross-sectoral engagement, both nationally and internationally, strengthening the region’s capability to draw international expertise and funding into the region to drive productivity and sustainability in the regional glass sector. Over 80% of UK glass manufacturing and tier one supply chain is in this region.
The new hub will enable coordination of the existing commercial and R&D activities within the region’s glass sector, currently uncoordinated. This is envisaged through a local entity or hub (whether ‘virtual’ or ‘physical’ will be determined as part of the EoI exercise) to facilitate knowledge exchange between universities, businesses and local policy makers. The key technical expertise will remain in the current technical centres and in the new proposed Glass Futures centres. The hub will provide a focal point to align the work of these centres, work to align the expertise to industry needs, attract and leverage funding (commercial and grants) and direct training activities across the region.
The hub will form an entity to act as a focal point through which other technology centres (Sheffield Hallam, Leeds and Sheffield Universities and Glass Technology Services) across the UK can be engaged to harness relevant expertise and technology to support and commercialise developments led by partners within the Sheffield and Leeds region, and to learn from and share best practice within other industries.
This initiative will create a globally unique pool of expertise in glass technology, spanning the entire glass supply chain and manufacturing processes, that will be a magnet to attract global investment into R&D and the creation of new businesses in the Sheffield and Leeds region. Note that this initiative will serve to complement and underpin the Glass Futures initiative, and is not intended to substitute for it.
Medical technologies in the Leeds City Region: driving economic growth, improving health and care
Lead organisation: University of Leeds
There is an increasing need to develop new medical technologies, to deliver more efficient and more effective healthcare. Minimally invasive devices are being developed to reduce healthcare costs, with the promise of better outcomes and faster recovery. Digitally-enabled healthcare solutions can incorporate mobile health applications, sensor technology, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Care in the community will be enhanced by new diagnostics, artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise personalised medicine, and improved simulation will increase customisation. Moreover, there is a significant market opportunity. Driven by a number of social, economic, technological and political factors, including an increasing and ageing population, the global market for medical technologies is forecast to grow to $529.8 billion by 2022.
Capitalising on world-leading research expertise and infrastructure in the Universities of Leeds, York, Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds Beckett; a concentration of more than 250 companies specialising in medical technologies, and a further 200 companies operating in the digital health space; and a wider health innovation ecosystem that allows high-quality clinical research funded by charities, research funders and life-sciences industry to be undertaken throughout the NHS; this proposal focuses on the advancement of knowledge, innovation and the translation of technology to industry, and early stage clinical evaluation and the generation of evidence on novel medical device interventions within the real world health and care system.
Leeds City Region faces a number of economic challenges. Productivity, levels of employment, and private sector investment in R&D, are all below the national average. Extending our strengths is crucial if we are to realise the region’s full economic potential. Medtech has been identified as a sector priority for the region. It significantly outperforms the wider economy in terms of jobs growth and productivity. Indeed, the Leeds City Region medtech sector generates economic output three times the regional average per filled job. Focusing on medtech as a key strength, we expect Strength in Places Fund support to generate 9,000 additional jobs, an additional £1.55 billion turnover, and an increase of £200 million in private sector expenditure on R&D in the region by 2030.
Our vision is for the Leeds City Region to be one of the best places in the world to develop and launch innovative medical devices and diagnostics – contributing to a substantial increase in economic growth and productivity, reduced healthcare costs, enhanced levels of care, and improved patient outcomes.