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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes the recommendations of the Witty Report, ‘Encouraging a British Invention Revolution’, published today.

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East LEP, said: “We are extremely fortunate in the North East LEP area to have four strong, outward-looking universities. The role of universities is pivotal to local growth, and we collaborate closely with all four on strategic and innovation-driven work. They were actively involved in the Adonis Economic Review, providing evidence and research which fed into the report’s blueprint for long-term regional strategic growth.

“By working together, the North East LEP and universities are propelling new ideas which will create new businesses and new investment. The Witty Report speaks to the enthusiastic engagement between the education, business and public sectors that defines much of our work. This will grow substantively as we move forward.”

Professor Roy Sandbach, an eminent innovator with an international reputation is leading the North East LEP’s innovation programme, as part of its drive to make this part of the UK an internationally recognised centre for innovation growth. His work is closely allied to that of the universities.

Professor Sandbach said: “The need to turn our leading university inventions into wealth-creating innovation is certainly critical to the nation. And it’s clear that the Witty report reflects this need.

“But this only happens If we can effectively match the “what’s possible” from our universities with the “what’s needed” for businesses to succeed in the global innovation race. The networks and dialogue between universities, Catapults, UKTI and businesses need to be sufficiently powerful and well-structured to drive this.

Professor Chris Brink, North East LEP board member and Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University said:
“There is always more the university sector can do to support the North East Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver innovation and growth. We need to ensure the region is aligned behind a set of clear priorities which can only be achieved if we agree on our strengths, and if the university sector translates academic excellence into economic growth.”

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