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The WMCA’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) sets out the economic plan for the West Midlands by highlighting vision, objectives and actions to improve the economic wellbeing of the region. The plan is built upon the long-standing manufacturing history of the region and its track record in innovation.
As regarding innovation policy, it is emphasised the need to extend the use of the wide set of innovation infrastructures already available in the region to more businesses, especially to innovation inactive ones. The strategic plan builds on the success already achieved in delivering manufacturing and engineering excellence. The West Midlands, in fact, can count on some of the most innovative businesses in the UK and excellent infrastructure already in place to support innovation and research and development, drawing on the skills and resources of world-class universities, science parks and research institutes. The plan aims thus to increase cooperation among businesses on the one hand and, and among universities and government/public research institutes on the other.
Innovation is identified as one of three cross-cutting principles – alongside productivity and public service reform – that feature across action plans in different policy domains. A key priority identified is to increase the number of businesses adopting innovation and investing in R&D, building on existing programmes and identifying and nurturing companies pursuing emerging technologies.