Oxfordshire presents significant potential for the UK economy, particularly in the context of a post-Brexit economy, says Nigel Tipple, chief executive of the county’s local enterprise partnership (LEP).
To maximise this potential, collaborative working across all stakeholders, is absolutely essential, he added.
Tipple writes: “Assets such as the University of Oxford and its world-class research programmes, Harwell Campus, Culham Science Centre and a thriving automotive sector not only have worldwide reach but are already internationally-established too.
“And they are set to become even more vital – not just for Oxfordshire, but ‘UK PLC’ – as we move towards a more ‘globally-facing’ economy.
“In addition to these significant international assets, we are world-leaders in the transformative technologies of; digital health, space-led data applications, connected and autonomous vehicles and technologies underpinning quantum computing.
“A science and innovation audit – authored by the Oxfordshire Transformative Technologies Alliance in the autumn of 2017 – suggested that, if fully-utilised, these four technologies alone could potentially add £180 billion GVA growth to the UK economy by 2030.
“It’s a story that we feel needs to be told as regularly as possible to both national and international audiences.
“As a Local Enterprise Partnership, we have already ‘taken the Oxfordshire economy’ to Westminster on three occasions over the past six months, highlighting both the capabilities and opportunities these technologies have to offer through House of Commons economic briefings.
“The Oxford-Cambridge Arc also offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to the UK economy through leveraging ALL the economic strengths across that region.
“Collaborative working between Local Enterprise Partnerships, universities and local authorities has seen us highlight the potential from this emerging economic region, which currently contributes around £111b GVA each year, with potential to do more.
“Success – both within Oxfordshire and the wider Oxford-Cambridge Arc – can be accelerated if we position the Arc’s potential clearly in the minds of global investors – but again, this can only be done effectively by bringing everyone together, including our key businesses, government, local authorities and academia.”