29 August 2012

Yorkshire LEPs One Year After the Armouries

James Reed's article "LEPs unite to back energy hub bid" in today's Business Desk prompts a review of the county's local enterprise partnerships one year on from the very successful Local Enterprise Partnership Summit at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 9 Sep 2011 (see my post "LEP Summit: My Impressions of the Day as a Delegate" 10 Sep 2011). The Summit welcomed representatives from other Northern LEPs and the question of regional co-operation was touched upon although they were more than counterbalanced by inter-regional rivalries.

Reed's article mentions an example of practical regional co-operation.  The four LEP's have joined forces to back 2CO Energy and and the White Rose CCS Project that could make Yorkshire a centre for green energy production. According to Reed, the LEPs are urging the Government to help fund those projects t as a first step to creating a 'cluster' of expertise in carbon capture and storage technology.  Reid continues:
"The demise of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and the creation of local enterprise partnerships raised concerns that the new bodies would become preoccupied with local concerns and not act together.
That idea has always been rejected by the LEP chairmen and their united support for the region's pioneering CCS projects is the most high profile example of collaboration between the four bodies to date."
Yorkshire and the Humber now have four local enterprise partnerships and three of them have their own websites:

 If anyone wants to discuss this topic with me further, he or she can contact me through my contact form, Facebook, Linkedin, Xing or twitter or call me on 0113 320 3232 .

8 August 2012

If Yorkshire were a country ......

Yesterday's Independent carried an article about the success of sportsmen and women from Yorkshire in the London Olympics: "London 2012: Yorkshire - the county that's trouncing Australia in the Olympic medal table" Independent 7 Aug 2012. It continued
If Yorkshire were a country....
1. China: 31 Gold, 19 Silver, 14 Bronze = 64 medals
2. USA: 29 Gold, 15 Silver, 19 Bronze = 63 Medals
3. Great Britain (minus Yorkshire): 14 Gold, 10 Silver, 11 Bronze = 35 medals
4. South Korea: 11 Gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze = 22 medals
5. France: 8 Gold, 9 Silver, 9 Bronze = 26 medals
6. Russia: 7 Gold, 17 Silver, 18 Bronze = 42 medals
7. Italy: 7 Gold, 6 Silver, 4 Bronze = 17 medals
8. Kazakhstan: 6 Gold, 0 Silver, 1 Bronze = 7 medals
9. Germany: 5 Gold, 10 Silver, 7 Bronze = 22 medals
10. Yorkshire 5 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze = 8 medals
Meanwhile sporting powerhouses Australia, South Africa and Japan languish behind....
16. South Africa: 3 Gold, 1, Silver, 0 Bronze = 4 medals
18. Japan: 2 Gold, 12 Silver, 14 Bronze = 28 medals
19. Australia: 2 Gold, 12 Silver, 8 Bronze = 22 medals
Now that is all well and good but you can't eat gold medals. It is innovation that brings in the brass.  So how do we do in that league?   Not very well, I'm afraid.

According to the Intellectual Property Office's Facts and Figures: 2010 and 2011 Calendar Years Yorkshire lies fifth from bottom in the number of patents granted in 2011:
Region                                                     Number
South East England                                    591
East of England                                          409
London                                                      401
South West England                                   363
North West England                                   246
West Midlands                                           216
Scotland                                                    207
Yorkshire                                                  175
East Midlands                                             155
Wales                                                            82
North East England                                      70
Northern Ireland                                            16    
(page 1).

We do even worse in trade mark registrations:

London                                                     7,089
South East England                                    3,992
North West England                                  2,628
South West England                                   2,047
East of England                                          2,029
North East England                                    1,962
West Midlands                                           1,727
East Midlands                                             1,282
Scotland                                                     1,237
Wales                                                            621
Northern Ireland                                            201
Yorkshire                                                     186 
(page 16)

And we are bottom of the list in design registrations too:

London                                                        649
South East England                                       563
West Midlands                                             416
North West England                                     399
South West England                                      346
North East England                                       330
Scotland                                                        229
East of England                                              213
East Midlands                                                171
Wales                                                            116
Northern Ireland                                               29
Yorkshire                                                        25
(page 26).

Bearing in mind that we have great universities like Bradford - one of the first with a business school and arguably the first to offer a degree in computer science - the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham, Digital Region in Sheffield, the Northern Technology Institute in Leeds, the Leeds College of Art and PatLib libraries in Leeds and Sheffield we really ought to do better. We can't afford to be complacent.