R&D collaboration between leading and lagging areas of the UK would boost innovation

MIOIR Researcher Raquel Ortega-Argilés has written a piece in the latest issue of Research Foresight exploring regional inequalities.


The recent white paper on levelling up has highlighted the damage caused by socioeconomic inequality and the importance of a more place-based, inclusive strategy for growth and prosperity. Regional disparities have been aggravated by shocks such as Brexit and Covid-19, which have hit less-prosperous or adaptable regions hardest.

In her article, Professor Raquel Ortega-Arguilés argues that the missions set out in the white paper, and the support for R&D funding and infrastructure announced in the 2021 spending review, are insufficient to address the problem of high regional inequality and sluggish national growth. It will require a more systemic approach to research and innovation, including the creation of institutions tasked with delivering more balanced development across the UK. She argues that the UK could look at examples from a number of OECD and EU countries that have developed public-private partnerships between universities, businesses, government and civil society to support system wide transformation and regional renewal.

Raquel Ortega-Argiles is Chair of Regional Economic Development at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and director of the Productivity Lab at the Productivity Institute.