Trust and common cause pave Manchester’s way forward, says MSP chief


Trust and common cause pave Manchester’s way forward, says MSP chief

Manchester needs to build on its strong history of partnership working if it is to continue to thrive in the 21st century, says Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Science Partnerships.

Speaking in a session about Innovation Clusters: Entrepreneurship and knowledge flow from the Northern Powerhouse, as part of Innovate2016, she argued that it is partnership working that has helped Manchester enjoy the status it benefits from today.

“A deeply engrained belief in the power of partnership is Greater Manchester’s core defining characteristic,” Rowena Burns told delegates. “Our success as a city, our coherence and stability, are largely attributable to a bedrock of trust and common cause which has been built over two decades.

“The evidence is everywhere – a brilliant Commonwealth Games, a two runway airport and comprehensive tram network which have their roots in voluntary collaboration between 10 Local Authorities. These are part of the track record of delivery which has ultimately led to devolution.”

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) is very much a part of this ‘innovation ecosystem’, said Ms Burns. It is, she said: “a strategic partnership and successful business dedicated to driving the growth of the commercial science and technology sectors in Greater Manchester.”

She explained that MSP does this by leveraging the power of its assets in order to both support the growth of existing businesses and work with partners in order to attract investors, national facilities and capital into the region.

These include CityVerve, an ambitious and unique partnership which sees Manchester pioneering the use of Internet of Things technology to create a smart, more efficient and connected city.

Rowena Burns herself chairs a new body, Health Innovation Manchester, which is charged with delivering a vision to improve radically the health and well-being of Greater Manchester patients and citizens through accelerated innovation, in partnership with industry.

She concluded: “It is a huge privilege to be part of these projects and more. We have a world of opportunity in this tech-driven world and by working in partnership we will be better and faster innovators, delivering better quality of life for all citizens and driving beneficial economic growth.”

Taking place at Manchester Central, other speakers at the event included: Tony Quinn, Operations Director, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (Chair)
Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens UK and Grant Peggie, Director in the Venture Capital Solutions Team, British Business Bank.

The event focussed on the importance of “innovation clusters” and how they can positively influence regional economies by stimulating entrepreneurship and enterprises that will boost productivity and employment.