The coronavirus pandemic has seen a period of accelerated change across the world that has left many businesses thinking long and hard about what the future holds.
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) and its partners have been supporting the region’s business community to manage the impact of the pandemic and also plan for our economic recovery. Our work continues to be guided by the North East Strategic Economic Plan, which sets out our ambition to create more and better jobs by growing four specific areas of industry – digital, advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, and energy.
To complement and run alongside the North East Strategic Economic Plan, we want to delve even deeper into the emerging markets and future trends that will dominate the UK and global economies. What are the sectors and areas of industry that will provide the greatest economic growth opportunities in the future? And how can the North East capitalise on them?
To help us answer those questions, we’re seeking to appoint a specialist contractor that can undertake an independent markets foresight analysis on behalf of the North East. We want to identify the short, medium and long-term opportunities our region should focus on to support our immediate economic recovery, and those that will help grow our economy in the future too; creating jobs for local people, attracting investment in the region, and improving our economic activity rates and productivity.
Some of the potential areas of opportunity are in response to our current situation. Active and sustainable travel, for example, has rocketed during the coronavirus pandemic and there is more demand for environmentally friendly transport solutions. How can the North East use its world-renowned expertise and skills in the automotive sector to drive forward this green revolution?
Renewable energy made up almost half of Britain’s electricity generation in the first three months 2020, further bolstering the green energy sector. What does that mean for the North East? How can we grow our share of the market?
How well positioned are we in the region to respond to future technology developments that will affect trends in key sectors; for example autonomous vehicles, the ageing population, and the rollout of 5G – or even 6G capability?
This project is about future proofing the North East economy and making sure we’re ready to respond to global economic opportunities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The North East LEP would like to undertake the economic markets foresight analysis this year, and we invite interested suppliers to join us at a online supplier briefing event on Monday 05 October from 10:00-13:00.
Find out more about this exciting opportunity to help the North East shape its future competitiveness, and sign up to attend, by visiting the eventbrite page.
By Alan Welby, Innovation Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.