Solving our region’s productivity puzzle, business dynamism and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Midlands were just some of the topics of conversation at the latest meeting of the Midlands Engine Research Partnership (MERP).
MERP is the Midlands Engine Observatory’s forum for our region’s universities where members scope areas of research needed by the Midlands Engine.
The group also has responsibility for steering research, collaboration, securing external funding for projects and contributing to key policy reviews and strategy.
Addressing the meeting, Professor Nigel Driffield of Warwick University provided the network with an introduction to the Productivity Institute.
This work, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is intended to examine the reasons for the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’ and is working with firms and policymakers to form an evidence-based narrative that will help our region close the productivity gap.
The topic of discussion later turned to business dynamism and the Midlands’ entrepreneurial ecosystem as Professor Mark Hart of Aston University presented his latest research examining Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions and their effects on businesses.
These conditions directly influence entrepreneurial opportunities, entrepreneurial capacity and preferences to inform understanding of the environment for start-up companies.
To round out the meeting, Professor Silke Machold (University of Wolverhampton) led a discussion on the theme of women in leadership roles.
This ongoing work, which will be followed by a call for expressions of interest from members of the Research Partnership, seeks to understand the state of gender diversity in senior roles and to pursue the advantages that have been shown to accrue in organisations with diverse leadership.
The next meeting of the Research Partnership is scheduled for 16 September from 10am to 12pm.
For more information, please contact Midlands Engine at firstname.lastname@example.org.