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Observatory

Latest data and research for our region

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The Midlands Engine Observatory is an alliance of leading academic researchers and economic and industry experts, working together to deliver the regionally focused research and analysis our partners need to inform decision making and policy creation, for every part of the Midlands.

The only pan-regional Observatory in England, it ensures that we are evidence led and that we have a deep understanding of the issues impacting the Midlands.

The Observatory is funded by the Midlands Engine and our partners – in particular, our academic partners who co-invest in all the research we produce together. Experts are drawn from the Midlands’ own universities, partner institutions and private sector organisations, maximising the vast knowledge potential of our region.

Work is overseen and guided by a Programme Board, which in turn reports to the Operating Board of the Midlands Engine, ensuring partnership decision-making is underpinned by contemporary data and emerging evidence. The work of our Observatory continues to grow in breadth and significance; a critical driver of the pan-regional work we undertake, together.

State of the Region 2022
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State of the Region Report 2022
The Midlands Engine Observatory’s State of the Region 2022 Report.

The latest evidence-based reflection of how the Midlands has performed over the past calendar year – is now available.

This year’s report details a further twelve months of turbulence across the UK and beyond while spotlighting our region’s main opportunities for growth across a variety of sectors, from food and drink supply chain to hydrogen technologies.

The State of the Region is available as a downloadable 20-page executive summary or the detailed report with full in-depth analysis via our website for more in-depth interrogation.

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Latest data and research

The Observatory publishes data and intelligence for the benefit of policymakers across our region, designed to ensure our partnership is kept fully iformed with a growing, robust evidence base.

Read the latest reports from the Observatory
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Midlands Engine Intelligence Hub
Instant access to contemporary data and insights

The Midlands Engine Intelligence Hub provides a single, interactive portal for a wealth of up-to-the-minute pan-regional data, research and expert insights. This unique tool can help to inform decision-making around key investments and policy formulation for economic and social benefit in the Midlands.

Key features of the Intelligence Hub include: new live and interactive data and power BI dashboards, spatial visualisations, intelligence briefings, insight pieces from regional experts, and commissioned deep-dive research.

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Observatory Action Plan

The Midlands Engine Observatory Action Plan sets out our collective actions and aims to support our region through data, research, and insight. 

As we work towards delivering the Levelling Up agenda, reliable metrics and insight become more important than ever. The Plan gives us the goals and direction we need as a region to understand Midlands-specific challenges and opportunities in terms of economic growth, to quantify our impact in collaboration and to inform advocacy for further investment where it’s needed most.

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Midlands Engine Research Partnership

The Midlands Engine Research Partnership provides a forum for universities from across the Midlands to scope areas of research needed by the Midlands Engine, steer research, collaborate, secure external funding for projects and contribute to key policy reviews and strategy formulation for the Midlands Engine.

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Midlands Engine Intelligence Community

The Midlands Engine Intelligence Community (MEIC) is a forum for our valued partners to discuss and contribute to the work of the Observatory, hear updates on key research activities and share data and best practice.

If you are a data owner or engage with research and intelligence linked to any aspect of the Midlands economy, we would welcome your input to help shape the work of the Observatory and accelerate our work to grow our regional economy.

Latest News

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Economic Opportunities

Jan 26 2023

Professor Driffield: Foreign Direct Investment and the West Midlands

Nigel Driffield is a Professor of International Business and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Regional Engagement) at the University of Warwick. Prof. Driffield's work enables a region to understand the motivations behind firms investing in the area, thus supporting the region to understand its competitive position when seeking to attract such investment.

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Manufacturing

Jan 24 2023

Midlands manufacturing strengths make region key to increasing UK’s productivity

A new study from the Centre for Social Justice – Making the change: A plan to reboot British manufacturing and restore growth – says a revival of the manufacturing industry in the UK is essential if the government is to achieve its flagship ambition of ‘levelling up’ the poorest parts of the country. As the UK’s manufacturing heartland, this could put the Midlands at the forefront of the nation’s economic recovery.   

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Transport

Jan 24 2023

MPs gather in Westminster to rally behind A50/A500 road improvements

Roundtable to be held today (Tuesday 24th January) at 5.00pm in Parliament

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