In this policy briefing, Robert Lynam, Chloe Billing and Simon Collinson look at the Tyseley Energy Park, University of Birmingham and explore the extent to which it is being leveraged to improve economic performance and social inequality in our region.
The research represents the initial phase of a project which City-REDI/WMREDI are delivering on ‘Universities’ STEM Assets: Commercial and Non-Commercial Pathways and Aggregate Impacts’.
There is a persistent gap between university-based R&D and research users in the UK, including firms and public sector organisations. This means we are not fully leveraging our intellectual capital, assets and capabilities for economic growth and social development. As the country looks to increase R&D spending to a level of 2.4 percent of GDP (the OECD average) it is essential that there is better alignment between universities and these stakeholders in collaborative innovation efforts to improve our economy and our society.
This policy briefing focuses specifically on a University of Birmingham asset (Tyseley Energy Park) and explores the extent to which it is being leveraged to improve economic performance and social inequality in our region. The University has invested £3M in Tyseley Energy Park (TEP), a site which is owned by Webster and Horsfall. The vision for TEP is to develop new sustainable technologies, including ways of generating clean energy and a low waste economy. Infrastructure developed or planned on the site include a biomass plant, generating 10 MW of electricity, a low carbon refuelling hub linked to the City of Birmingham’s plans for a clean air zone (including hydrogen generation for the bus fleet) and an Innovation Hub (Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre).
The next step is to begin to measure the specific contribution of TEP as a University fixed asset and identify any factors that constrain its innovation/productivity growth. We are going to specifically focus on:
- ‘How’ and ‘in what way’ TEP generate impacts, including economic
(commercial) and social/environmental (non-commercial) impacts.
- The factors that are constraining the innovation/productivity growth of TEP and the extent to which the constraints are regional or university-specific.
If you liked this blog, we also did research on the STEM Assets for Warwick Manufacturing Group.
The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI or the University of Birmingham.