The UK Science Minister George Freeman has announced that West Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are among the eight regional clusters in the UK that will receive a share of £75 million to stimulate local economies and drive revolutionary advancements in various sectors such as healthcare and net zero solutions. This funding will support the establishment of a Health Technologies Launchpad in West Yorkshire, dedicated to pioneering breakthroughs in healthcare technologies. Similarly, Lincolnshire will host the Agri-tech and Food Tech Launchpad, focused on revolutionizing agri-tech and food technology to enhance food production and sustainability.
Under the Launchpads program, Innovate UK will provide up to £7.5 million to each Launchpad to fund innovation projects led by local businesses. This custom funding will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in each region to compete for tailored support that addresses the unique needs of their respective business clusters. Consequently, SMEs will be empowered to drive innovation, expand their operations, and bolster local economies.
By concentrating their support in specific areas of the country with strong innovation capabilities, Launchpads facilitate close collaboration with local leaders and deliver tailored assistance. This includes research and development funding, access to specialized innovation resources, and opportunities for SMEs to connect, exchange ideas, and engage in joint ventures.
Minister George Freeman emphasizes that the UK’s science, research, and innovation economy extends far beyond the prominent “golden triangle” of Cambridge, Oxford, and London. Numerous other globally recognized hubs, such as Glasgow for satellite manufacturing, Manchester for materials, Teesside for hydrogen, and Liverpool for life sciences, contribute to the country’s world-class research and development. Supporting and nurturing these regional clusters of innovation is a crucial aspect of the government’s strategy to transform the UK into an “Innovation Nation.”
Freeman highlights the significance of the Launchpads program, stating that the £75 million investment will assist high-growth companies in building the industries of the future. This funding will have a profound impact on various sectors, ranging from renewable energy to digital health. Ultimately, Launchpads are poised to play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, job creation, and promoting equality throughout the UK.