NWBLT December Update


It has been extremely busy over the past month with a number of events and announcements including the launch of the Industrial Strategy.


The Productivity Task Force priorities are to:

  • Lead and support the development of a North West ‘ecosystem’ to link to the work of the National Productivity Group and encourage best practice.
  • Improve the quality, availability and use of productivity data.

Our Chairman Juergen Maier’s National Industrial Digitalisation Review was published in October. The review outlined significant proposals to improve productivity by harnessing digital technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence.   Discussions are continuing with Government regarding the proposed National Adoption Programme that will be piloted in the North West. The NWBLT supported the Review Team by bringing together members of our Productivity Task Group to develop the proposal. Group members include representatives from Liverpool 4.0, Lancaster University and the Manchester Growth Company.

Education and Skills

A “Demystifying Skills” event Chaired by Sandy Lindsay MBE to promote the Skills Charter and to encourage more businesses to get involved in the skills agenda was held in November at the UTC at MediaCityUK. Led by Institute of Directors North West working in partnership the NWBLT, The Federation of Small Businesses, and Pro-Manchester, the event aimed at an SME audience. Further similar events will be held next year in each sub-region of the North West.

Science Technology and Innovation

The Royal Society Fellows conference took place for the first time in the region on 20 November. ‘Creating connections – Research, industry and infrastructure in the North West’ brought together leading experts from academia, industry, government and charities. The conference focussed upon, and promoted the ‘Great Four’ contained within Discovery to Delivery and created a platform for the NWBLT to further develop our relationship with the Royal Society.

As part of the event a round table discussion took place with representatives from local government, large and small businesses, and universities to discuss how the North West can benefit from the Government’s target to increase investment in research and innovation to 2.4% of GDP within the next ten years. A paper produced by the Royal Society can be found here which illustrates the gap that still exists between our aspiration to drive more innovation investment into the region and the current reality.

Transport and Infrastructure

The next meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Task Group is being held on the 12 December.  Its focus is to:-

  • Work with Transport for the North to help provide the business case for strategic investment priorities.
  • Ensure our Thought Leadership work integrates with and supports the business case for transport and infrastructure investment.

Essential Resources

November’s Essential Resources Task Group meeting coincided with the Autumn statement and was held at the University of Chester. The meeting was joined by Angela Francis, Senior Economist at the Green Alliance, who led a discussion evaluating the impact of the Chancellor’s from an essential resources perspective.  The priorities for the Group over the next 12 months are to:

  • Review our ‘Optimising our Essential Resources’ Report to ensure it  remains relevant and appropriate.
  • Promote the opportunities presented to decision makers and influencers regionally and nationally


The NWBLT would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and productive 2018.  This Christmas we would like to support our 2017 Lever Prize Winner in their fund raising efforts to give looked after children an exciting Christmas memory.  We would ask you to donate just £12 to send one looked after child to the theatre for a festive performance at Z-arts. This money includes a ticket, ice cream and goody bag for them to take away. The performance is taking place from 8 – 16 December so please donate soon by clicking here.

To download the full update please click here – December’s NWBLT Update