Cllr Mike Whitby: “Our regional cities are natural economic power houses”
Birmingham – one of the UK’s “economic power houses”
Cllr Whitby claimed that the country should be less reliant on London and instead, look to utilise knowledge, skills and innovation to drive future economic stability and success.
He said: “Birmingham’s heritage is famously founded on industrial innovation and manufacturing, and whilst manufacturing remains a central plank in the region’s economy, future economic success must be derived from the utilisation of knowledge, skills and innovation.”
He commented that, having emerged from a deep recession that exposed the reliance of the UK economy on one city, he said we need to “move away from an over reliance on the capital” and recognise that “our big regional cities are natural economic power houses.”
He praised the work being carried out at Birmingham Science Park Aston, to create and develop a knowledge economy within the city, adding that “the innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and students based at BSPA are vital to addressing that rebalance.”
“It is institutions like BSPA that are needed to really fly the flag for the city and the Birmingham Brand,” he said.
Cllr Whitby referred specifically to the success of the Park’s Entrepreneurs for the Future (E4F) scheme, which has supported 20 start-up high tech companies over the last 6 months.
The scheme was launched at BSPA in November 2009, with the intention of incubating entrepreneurship to boost new businesses in the region and in turn, bring further jobs, wealth and employment to the city.
Dr David Hardman MBE, managing director of BSPA, commented:
“We have a wealth of talented entrepreneurs in the city who have some fantastic ideas for start-up companies in high tech, high growth sectors such as IT, web 2.0, digital media, clean and green tech, medical technology and bio technology.”