Midlands Engine partners know that good data drives good decisions. If we are to better understand, monitor and improve the health of the Midlands economy, having to hand the best available data and evidence is key. We know too that our University partners are critical to achieving this. As part of the work exploring the future role and focus of the Midlands Engine Economic Observatory (MEEO), an initiative led by our partnership, Midlands Innovation Universities, City Redi (University of Birmingham) and Nottingham Trent University brought together academics from across the Midlands to take part in an event to help advance plans to address current and future research needs and opportunities for the Midlands Engine.
Hosted by the University of Leicester, the event explored current gaps in knowledge alongside future data needs and highlighted collaboration opportunities across Midlands Engine Universities to fill these gaps.
Areas of focus emerging included:
- Industrial digitisation
- The foundation and service economy and export growth
- Productivity differences between geographies and sectors and productivity drivers
- The role of regional scale interventions
- Graduate retention
The outcomes will help to shape a defined research programme with an expanded group of academic leaders helping shape our Midlands Engine Observatory, as well as spawning new and exciting research proposals, around which Midlands Engine Universities can collaborate.