A partnership of innovation fosters growth in Greater Manchester

On 15 February 2024, we celebrated the innovative partnership between Innovate UK and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), marking a year since the co-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Posted on: 28/02/2024

At the heart of this partnership is the shared goal of social and business innovation and priorities that lead to a greener and fairer Greater Manchester.

The MoU is a living document with a long-term ambition and potential; one year in, it is only the beginning.

At the event, keynotes from Innovate UK’s CEO, Indro Mukerjee, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Councillor Bev Craig, GMCA portfolio lead for Economy, Business & Inclusive Growth. They each highlighted how the partnership has been based on the spirit of co-creation between Innovate UK and local leadership—and has been an exemplar of how working this way can drive forward innovation in a place.

One example was the Greater Manchester Innovation Accelerator (IA), where 10 ambitious projects received £33 million of public investment to pioneer innovation in key areas.

In addition to the IA investment, Innovate UK has further committed over £20 million during the last year into the local ecosystem and in support of businesses in Greater Manchester’s clusters.

Indro Mukerjee announced a new development: an investment of £2.5 million through the Further Education Innovation Fund (FEIF), supporting nine further education colleges in the city region to support regional businesses to adopt and diffuse innovations. The colleges will establish an innovation centre in each of the ten districts of Greater Manchester, to support local employers in key sectors of their local economies.

Additionally, Innovate UK recognises Greater Manchester’s advanced material capabilities and Indro committed to a review of the infrastructure to support this local priority.

Along with enhanced access to Innovate UK Products and Services via the No Limits digital platform and the newly renamed entities: Innovate UK Business Connect (previously Innovate UK KTN) and Innovate UK Business Growth (previously Innovate UK EDGE). These services: one connecting and convening expertise, and the other, growing and scaling innovative businesses, are core to driving economic impact and make it easier to find who to talk to.

Innovate UK and GMCA, collaborating with Innovation Greater Manchester, are making a substantial impact in the Manchester City Region.

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