Plans for the country’s first ‘advanced manufacturing innovation district’, to be based in Sheffield and Rotherham, have been announced today.
It will be Europe’s largest research-led cluster of businesses and science research facilities.
The district will be centred around the area which is already home to The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Catcliffe and the wider Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley.
Innovation districts are the next step from centres such as Silicon Valley and combine research institutions, firms and businesses with the benefits of urban living such as homes and transport links.
Today’s announcement was made as expert Bruce Katz, a former advisor to President Obama, visits Sheffield as part of the launch of Sheffield’s International Economic Commission,
Mr Katz said: “This is Sheffield’s moment.
“You recognise the critical importance of the advanced industries and the opportunity for devolution.
“Your capability in advanced manufacturing and materials is distinctive globally, and your culture of collaboration across business, university and local government aligns well with the new network model of innovation growth.”
Council chiefs from Sheffield and Rotherham say the innovation district will be important nationally as the region’s unique capability in manufacturing technology and engineering is vital to the country’s economy.
It is hoped that the district will stop an exodus of skilled people leaving the area for work, as well as drawing new workers in.
See The Star tomorrow for more on this story.