Agenda item - Update on Smart Specialisation & Innovation Strategy

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Agenda item

Update on Smart Specialisation & Innovation Strategy

Presentation by University of Brighton and University of Sussex


8.1         The Board considered a presentation from Prof. Nightingale (University of Sussex) and Prof. Cowling (University of Brighton) that set out the Smart Specialisation approach and presented data specific to the Greater Brighton economic area as a case for how the approach may benefit the region.


8.2         Geoff Raw welcomed the work carried out that he had found very helpful and informative and asked the presenters whether they had a view about how the approach could apply to the City Region and what could be learned from other areas.


8.3         Prof. Cowling stated that the findings indicated the industries and people attracted to an area that in turn created a high value and high growth economy often desired a place rich in cultural attractions, a range of amenities and were content with a high rate of tax in return for good local services. The clear way that the public sector could invest would be to create the environment to attract such industries and people. Prof. Cowling added that the high value of property in the region, specifically in Brighton & Hove, would be a likely hindrance.


8.4         Mike Herd asked if any conclusions could be made from the analysis and research on the impact of Gatwick Airport in the City Region.


8.5         Prof. Nightingale replied that Gatwick Airport would form a later part of research but on the basis of anecdotal evidence, the key issue would be based upon how air transport services innovate and the specific impact of IT services to the wider economy.


8.6         Amanda Menahem asked if the key factors that attracted talent to a particular region would be identified in the final report.


8.7         Prof. Cowling confirmed that it would and these could be summarised as cheap housing, good schools, excellent transport networks, high standard of healthcare and diversity in the economy.


8.8         Councillor Smith asked if there were any immediate lessons Board Members could take away and adapt at local and regional level.


8.9         Prof. Nightingale stated that the key to Smart Specialisation was methodical planning and evaluation, in particular knowing when to stop a specific project if it was no longer effective and when to continue projects.


8.10      Geoff Raw stated that he believed a key aspect of public services moving forward would be the ability to unlock private sector investment as it was unlikely there would be an improvement to public spending and financial outlook.


8.11      Prof Humphris stated that there were straightforward issues that could be implemented to support SME’s and universities could help drive improvements in Smart Specialisation, education and health.


8.12      RESOLVED- That the presentation be noted.


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