Press release

New economic plan to make Oxfordshire global innovation centre

The Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy, designed to cement the county’s reputation as one of the foremost areas in the world to innovate, has been published

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  • Local Industrial Strategy to help Oxfordshire to become a top global innovation hub, building on its world leading science and tech clusters
  • Plan sets out how the area will take full advantage of its global assets and maximise the economic opportunities of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
  • Business Minister Lord Henley met Oxfordshire leaders today to discuss how plans will boost local productivity and shape new opportunities

A new economic blueprint for Oxfordshire, designed to cement the county’s reputation as one of the foremost areas in the world to innovate, is unveiled today (Friday 19 July).

Developed by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership in collaboration with local authorities, businesses, and central government, the Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy sets out how the area will contribute towards the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs across the country.

At its heart, the new Local Industrial Strategy has a clear ambition to help Oxfordshire become a top three global innovation hub by 2040, including through enhanced support for innovative scale-up businesses, transforming and expanding science and technology parks, and the potential creation of new Global Business District as part of Oxford Station quarter.

The strategy also outlines measures to increase social mobility and proposals to establish an Oxfordshire Entrepreneurship Hub to support students and young people develop new business ideas.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

“Oxfordshire has been at the centre of innovation in the UK for centuries and the Local Industrial Strategy released today will go even further to help maximise this, boosting earning power and opportunities for local people and businesses.

“The Oxford-Cambridge Arc is an area renowned for its world-leading research and development, science and technology sectors, backed by government with record level of investment in R&D and the Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy – one of four published across the area today - ensuring these high performing industries continue to work together to share their knowledge and increase productivity even further in the local economy.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“The ambition for the Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy is to position the county as one of the top-three innovation ecosystems anywhere in the world, highlighting our world-leading science and technology strengths and – in-turn – to be a pioneer for the UK and our emerging transformative technologies.

“By investing in Oxfordshire, we will be able to deliver for the UK – creating jobs and reinforcing our current position as one of just three net contributors to the national economy.

“We are responding to government’s Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost productivity and create more prosperous communities.”

The Buckinghamshire, South East Midlands, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Industrial Strategies are also published today, demonstrating the full economic strength of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area.

To coincide with the launch of the Local Industrial Strategies, Business Minister Lord Henley met representatives from across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc today to discuss how these local economic strategies are helping to deliver the government’s Industrial Strategy ambitions.

With an existing international brand that draws talent from across the globe, Oxfordshire will aim to become one of the top three global innovation hubs by 2040, by:

  • Supporting the transformation of science and technology parks, and the potential creation of a new Global Business District as part of Oxford Station quarter
  • Providing enhanced support for scale-ups, building on the high number of university spin-outs generated in this knowledge-led economy
  • Building on its existing Research & Development assets – as home to a world leading university, and with dynamic and creative residential communities, science and technology parks
  • Working with the Intellectual Property Office to launch a pilot programme to accelerate IP and commercialisation to help ‘breakthrough businesses’ capture the value of their IP across the business cycle
  • Improving social mobility for young people, working with the Careers & Enterprise Company, local colleges and Oxfordshire County Council
  • Taking forward a series of measures to support business engagement with the skills system through the development of an Oxfordshire Social Contract. This will include developing OxLife, a targeted programme to reskill and upskill older workers and armed forces personnel returning to the Oxfordshire workforce
  • Developing the Oxfordshire Digital Investment Plan

Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“Local Industrial Strategies are about celebrating the unique strengths of places across the country, so it was great to meet business leaders from across Oxfordshire today to understand how they are going to put this new, government-backed economic plan into action.

“Our modern Industrial Strategy aims to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs, and this Local Industrial Strategy outlines how we will do that for people in Oxfordshire.”

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said:

“People deserve to live in thriving, prosperous communities where there are great job opportunities, high quality affordable homes and local leaders with strategies to boost economic growth in bold and innovative ways.

“The four Local Industrial Strategies mark a momentous time for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and will maximise the undoubted potential of the region. That’s demonstrated by the sheer range of plans covered by the strategies - whether it be developing future generations via a Skills Apprenticeship Hub, improving social mobility, or entertaining film lovers with productions from the world famous Pinewood Studios.

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work with communities and local leaders to realise their ambitions and also build more, better, faster, providing one million new homes across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc by 2050.”

Through Local Industrial Strategies, local partners will work together to harness the collective strength of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc’s research base to drive greater collaboration on science and research, bring employers and providers together to understand and meet skills needs and develop improved support for business across the Arc as a whole.

The government’s modern Industrial Strategy is the flagship economic policy which backs businesses to create high-quality, well paid jobs throughout the United Kingdom, and invests in skills, innovation and infrastructure.

Published 19 July 2019