November 2016

First wave of Science and Innovation Audits published by Government

Business Secretary Greg Clark has published the UK's first wave of Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs). SIAs map the specific innovation and scientific strengths of local areas, and aim to catalyse a new approach to sub-national economic development, enabling local consortia (including businesses, universities, local authorities, LEPs and wider stakeholders) to focus on analysing their strengths, and identify mechanisms to realise their full economic potential and boost productivity.

SQW worked with three of the five first-wave consortia: in the Midlands Engine; Sheffield and Lancashire; and Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.

We provided a range of expert analytical and research support and stakeholder engagement including:

  • in the Midlands Engine: leading thematic workshops with stakeholders across the region to identify key strengths and opportunities; undertaking the analysis of the extensive body of science and innovation data that underpinned the SIA; and leading on the drafting of the main SIA report, technical annexes and executive summary
  • in Sheffield and Lancashire: undertaking in-depth interviews and case study research with c20 leading innovators and exporters in the advanced manufacturing sector across the area, to map and analyse their innovation and supply-chain linkages; and providing critical friend inputs to the drafting of the SIA
  • in Greater Manchester and East Cheshire: advising on the design and progression of the audit process; and providing external 'check-and-challenge' to the consortium's work.

All five SIA reports, including the three that SQW supported, are available to download here.

In July 2016, the Government invited expressions of interest for the second wave of SIAs, with decisions on the areas expected later this year. Are you interested in finding out more about the first-wave SIAs? Are you planning on completing an SIA for your local area, or a similar assessment of your science and innovation strengths and opportunities?

If you would like to discuss these issues, or would be interested in SQW working with you on a science and innovation audit or similar study, please contact Luke Delahunty.