£800,000 research project to boost West Midlands

Posted on 15 Mar 2019 and read 513 times
£800,000 research project to boost West MidlandsAn £800,000 research project led by Warwick Business School (with the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)at the University of Warwick) and City-REDI (at the University of Birmingham) will look at ways to reduce social inequality in the West Midlands and boost productivity.

They will examine the factors that constrain innovation and productivity in the region, with a particular focus on the role of skills shortages, the importance of supply chains and the impact of foreign direct investment.

They will also collaborate with regional stakeholders, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Midlands Engine, five local enterprise partnerships and private-sector firms including Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin.

As well as contributing to the local industrial strategy, the research team will examine the trade-offs between policies and practices that target improvements in productivity against other development goals.

In particular, a central aim of the research is to understand how productivity improvements and related policies can contribute to growth that reduces inequalities within and across regions — or heighten such inequalities.

Project leader Nigel Driffield (at Warwick Business School) (www.wbs.ac.uk) said: “This is an exciting project that will look to feed into the region’s industrial strategy.

"The West Midlands is known as the manufacturing hub of the UK, but it needs to build on this reputation, attracting more investment and more jobs to the area.

"This project has three stands: researching regional differences, skills and inclusive growth; investigating investment decisions, foreign investment and trade; and evaluating analytics-enabled supply chains and operational productivity.”

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