Launch of the Midlands Engine Economic Observatory

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Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham

The Midlands Engine Economic Observatory is part of the Midlands Engine, a partnership of local and combined authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, universities and businesses working together in new and transformative ways to invigorate the £207 billion Midlands economy.

Home to over 10 million people and 440,000 large and small businesses, the Midlands has huge potential and the Midlands Engine Partnership is focussed on its global success.

In the Midlands Engine ‘Vision for Growth‘, our partners committed to creating the Midlands Engine Economic Observatory, which will build a robust evidence base and develop granular knowledge of the Midlands economy and sector base in order to fully understand the region’s economic strengths and inform policy choices. The Observatory will deliver economic analysis to build our knowledge of current opportunities and weaknesses, as well as looking ahead to what the Midlands could look like in 2030, and what needs to be done to get there.

Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine

The Observatory has been tasked with undertaking two flagship pieces of analysis that will ensure that we can effectively raise productivity in the Midlands:

  • An Independent Economic Review, to create a credible pan-Midlands economic “narrative”.
  • A region-based sector assessment of the potential impact of Brexit that responds to the demands of a Brexit-ready economy.

It will also support the work of our strategic programme groups including trade and investment, skills, innovation and enterprise, and shaping places. The Observatory will also add value to various submissions to Government and other bodies by providing a strong evidence base.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University and Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham

The Midlands Engine Economic Observatory is a partnership that builds on the strengths of the variety of economic observatories and economic intelligence units based in the Midlands. The Observatory is led by City-REDI, a research institute of Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham. As a local partner, anchor institution and contributor to the work of the Midlands Engine, the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and its partners are committed to helping Midlands Engine deliver its vision for growth.

Attendees at the launch

The Observatory is a pan-regional centre, building on a strong collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, ensuring balance across the region. The University of Birmingham represents the network of Midlands Innovation Universities and Nottingham Trent University represents the Midlands Enterprise Universities. We are supported by the Black Country Consortium, SQW and Cambridge Econometrics, creating a strong platform of collaboration which brings together academic rigour and cutting edge, policy-focused research.

This blog was written by Liam O’Farrell, Policy and Data Analyst, City-REDI, University of Birmingham.

The opinions presented here belong to the author rather than the University of Birmingham.

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