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Industrial Strategy presents some exciting opportunities for Innovation South

Innovation South, representing business, science and innovation organisations across the South of England, warmly welcomes the Government’s announcement of a £115m “Strength in Place Fund” which will build on a region’s science & innovation strengths to drive growth and productivity.

This is an excellent opportunity for Innovation South to further enhance our region’s outstanding expertise and excellence in digital technologies and our significant contribution to the UK’s digital economy.

The competitive fund, announced in the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper, will support collaborative programmes based on research and innovation excellence in places right across the UK which can demonstrate a strong impact on local productivity and enhance collaboration between universities, research organisations, businesses, local government and Local Enterprise Partnerships in England and relevant agencies in the devolved nations.

These collaborations are at the heart of Innovation South and, as set out in our Government-sponsored Science & Innovation Audit , our world class strengths in Digital Enabling Technologies means the businesses and universities of Innovation South are extremely well placed to rise to the 4 Grand Challenges identified by the Government, including artificial intelligence and the data revolution; the ageing society ; the future of mobility.

Dr Mike Short CBE, Vice President Telefonica, Europe and Chairman of the Innovation South Strategic Steering Group said:

“I am delighted the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper presents some exciting opportunities for Innovation South 

The single aim of Innovation South is to maximise the talent and resources of our region for the success, prosperity and well-being of businesses and residents across the region and the broader national economy.

The Strength in Place Fund, the 4 Grand Challenges and upcoming Sector Deals represent an open invitation from Government to business, academia and civil society to work and engage with the government to innovate, develop new technologies and ensure the UK seizes global opportunities.

It is an invitation Innovation South is pleased to accept.”


Innovation South, this region’s equivalent of the Northern Powerhouse, set out the South’s capabilities in digital technologies, including 5 G mobile communications , cyber security , artificial intelligence, big data analytics , photonics  and quantum technologies , in a report to Government published earlier in the Autumn.

Developments in these technologies are transforming the ways we live, work and play - our health, transport and entertainment systems, and fueling the innovation that will help drive increased productivity and success of the UK economy. 

The Innovation South region embraces eight counties from Dorset to Kent and the Isle of Wight to the fringes of London, and includes a strong consortium of more than a hundred businesses, industry representatives, universities and other research organisations, local authorities and local economic partnerships. That means the region is a powerhouse of world class science and innovation, with an economy almost the size of Denmark’s and generates an output of £225.3 billion - 13.7% of UK’s economic output.

Innovation South is a highly skilled, internationally-focused region with a talented workforce, great universities and businesses. Significant sectors include advanced engineering, marine & maritime, creative digital, and life sciences and health. There is a strong exporting culture, underpinned by easy access to international airports, sea ports and rail links, and important connectivity to London. 


December 14th 2017 at the University of Surrey 13.30 – 16.00 pm.

Separate to todays announcement a total of £ 3.1 million of ERDF funding is available for two of the five Innovation South SIA recommendations: the Knowledge to Market Accelerator and the Quantum Supply Chain Initiative. We are looking to encourage applications for this funding in order to advance the Innovation South ambition. To access these important resources please attend the information and networking event on

The formal invitation is below.

Save the date - Thursday 14th December 2017 – 1.30pm to 4pm

ERDF Innovation Specification Information Event- Invitation

Information and Networking Event: £3.1m ERDF grants will be launched for a Knowledge to Market Accelerator and Quantum Technologies Supply Chain specification.

The Digital Enabling Technologies Knowledge to Market Accelerator specification worth £600k ERDF is seeking a strategic, collaborative and partnership approach to set up a knowledge-to-market accelerator in line with the recommendations of the Innovation South Science and Innovation Audit (SIA). This multi-LEP call includes Enterprise M3 LEP, Dorset LEP, Solent LEP, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Coast to Capital LEP and South East LEP. Any proposed activity will need to benefit this geography.

The Quantum Technologies Supply Chain Initiative worth £2.5M ERDF will be seeking collaborative actions between business and research institutions from the following geographical area including Enterprise M3, Dorset LEP, Solent LEP, Coast to Capital LEP and South East LEP to develop components and materials to sell into the growing research market for quantum technologies.

Come and join this multi-LEP Event to find out more about these funding opportunities and network with potential partners from the geographical area.

 Further information and to register here.  

 Venue: University of Surrey, 5G Innovation Centre, Stag Hill, Guildford, GU2 7XH

 Car parking is limited, please contact me to arrange for a parking permit.

 Contact: Susan George ERDF Project Officer Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership 01962 826714 @enterprisem3

March 27th 2018 Innovation South will be holding a launch event  with key note speakers and free advice and support for entrepreneurs at the New Farnborough International  Exhibition and Conference Centre