NWBLT January Update

Happy New Year.   The North West Business Leadership Team would like to wish everyone a prosperous and successful 2018.  We have some interesting plans for the next twelve months and have set out some of them below:

Education and Skills

The next meeting of the Skills and Education Task Group is being held in mid February at Tangerine PR in Manchester chaired by Sandy Lindsay MBE.  The discussion will focus on how we can most effectively support leadership in schools given the relationship between excellent leadership and the best education outcomes for young people.

One of our goals for this year is to highlight the great work already taking place across the North West and extrapolate the success stories.

Essential Resources

The NWBLT has been asked to host a business roundtable which will feed into the GM Mayor’s Green Summit which is due to take place on 21st March.  The roundtable will take place in February at the GM Chamber in Manchester.  There are a number of similar events taking place to capture input from a wide array of citizens and stakeholders and their input will be utilised to inform the proceedings during the Green Summit.

The main purpose of this event is to seek feedback from stakeholders within the business community on what they want Greater Manchester’s future environment to be like and what actions they think are necessary to achieve that future.

NWBLT will also host an event in June during the International Festival of Business 2018 in Liverpool to look at Sustainable Energy linked to the work of the Essential Resources Group.

Science and Innovation

The Science and Innovation Task Group met on 8th January at the Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool. The main agenda item was an update on our joint research commission with Innovate UK. We share a common goal to drive-up the innovation and productivity of the North West, this research will enable us to better understand how to reach the businesses where the greatest impact may be possible.  A copy of the research tender can be found here.

We are keen to ensure we gain the maximum value from this work, which will enable us to make recommendations to policy makers regarding the most effective drivers for innovation investment in the future.

Some initial findings will be presented at our joint conference with Innovate UK on 8th February. ‘North West Innovation 2018’ will be held at STFC Sci-Tech Daresbury with the objective of further encouraging businesses to innovate and drive up their productivity. The conference aims to provide a fuller understanding of how government funding and business support can help SME’s in particular to achieve more.

Transport and Infrastructure

The Transport and Infrastructure Taskforce met in December. We were joined by Professor Ian Wray, from Liverpool University’s Heseltine Institute who has been leading the development of our response to the National Infrastructure Commission Consultation on Congestion, Capacity, Carbon: Priorities for National Infrastructure.

The initial finding of our recent research that seeks to outline further the positive business case for improvements in the North West’s transport and infrastructure was presented to the group.  This research will lead onto a report outlining the cross-sector business case for better infrastructure in our region.