European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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Regional Innovation Report: North West of England


The analysis of trends in the North West of England's innovation system points to strengths in terms of business R&D, medium/high-tech manufacturing and higher education. A major challenge companies in the North West face concerns the recruitment of skilled people. As stakeholders have noted in the ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Nuclear’ report for North West Regional Leaders’ Board (2013), employers are often forced to recruit workers from different parts of the supply chain, since they face difficulties in finding candidates with the skill sets they seek.  The importance of cluster building in increasing productivity, innovation capacity and new business has been underlined by the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in their Strategic Plans, especially in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.  Also, the lack of know-how and access to funding is one of the most important impediments SMEs face.  Addressing this issue is crucial in order to increase the amount and turnover of in-house SME innovation, in which North West SMEs lag far behind the EU average.

Download the report here