Kada research were commissioned by Sheffield City Council to develop a Skills, Training and Business Support Plan to help drive the South Yorkshire Innovation District (SYID) ambition for innovation-led inclusive growth to transform the South Yorkshire economy. The SYID is part of a Global Network of Innovation Districts boasting world class assets and businesses.
The Plan highlights existing strengths to build on in South Yorkshire alongside new priorities for boosting the skills pipeline for the innovation district and securing high quality business support and investment. These priorities are designed to underpin a competitive, productive innovation ecosystem for sustainable growth of the sub-region’s advanced manufacturing and advanced health and wellbeing sectors.
The plan includes a series of practical solution-focused interventions aimed at helping South Yorkshire to unlock its potential for job creation and prosperity by employing its existing innovation capabilities to address local and global challenges. The interventions are shaped around three core pillars of the Plan: fuelling future talent, turning great ideas into business growth, and realising innovation, all of which are essential to the future success of South Yorkshire’s innovation ecosystem.
Our research focussed on clusters within advanced manufacturing and health and well-being in South Yorkshire, including medtech and life sciences. The study involved consultations with over 70 stakeholders and drew on good practice locally, within the UK and internationally. Through workshops and group discussion interventions were co-designed to identify opportunities for scaling up existing activities and developing new initiatives to stimulate inclusive sustainable innovation for people, places and businesses across the sub-region. The study culminated in an implementation plan and three-year roadmap.
The research highlighted a need for bespoke support designed to meet the specific needs of the advanced manufacturing and health and wellbeing sectors. Aligned with South Yorkshire’s existing and emerging skills, business support and innovation strategies, including the Local Skills Improvement Plan and UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan, the co-designed activities sought to add value to more generic skills, innovation and business growth programmes.
The Plan was instrumental to a bid that led to South Yorkshire being named the first of 12 UK Investment Zones. The IZ is expected to generate 8,000 jobs across the sub-region and an estimated £1.2bn of funding, including £80m of Government investment.
If you are thinking about commissioning a study for an innovation district or research to support investment zone developments, you can contact our Director Cassie Houlden at Cassie@kadaresearch.co.uk