Recently, YU held a roundtable in Leeds with Universities UK (UUK), which brought together universities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), combined authorities, government and national research funding agencies. The purpose was to share information about the development of local industrial strategies in Yorkshire, to illustrate the specific role of the twelve universities in Yorkshire in industrial policy and strategy, and to identify areas of shared interest. UUK had organised eight similar-type events with universities across England, but the session in Leeds was the only one held jointly with a ‘place-based’ collaborative university organisation.
Yorkshire Universities (YU) has announced that Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, will take over from Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, as Chair of the YU Board of Directors from 1 August 2018.
YU has agreed a new strategy that will see the regional partnership focus on widening and deepening the role of Yorkshire’s universities in place-based development, including national and local industrial policy. Sir Chris Husbands’ responsibilities as Chair will include steering YU’s relationships with national and regional government, business and public sector partners.
Yorkshire Universities is something of a unique construct. Formed in 1987, this place-based university collaborative venture has endured despite the periodic upheaval in sub-national economic development governance and planning in England.
At the recent Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, part of the Great Exhibition of the North, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, launched a new pan-regional governance entity – NP11 – a grouping of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the north of England, which will be headed initially by the Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP.
For those not fully-aware of the timeliness of the industrial policy and strategy debate, we are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution which will result in some of the most fundamental changes to economy and society. Why is this important? Because it will alter how we live, work, and how we relate to each other. Some of us still remember life without the internet and smart phones, right? That is the scale of transformation taking place, but with much more complex and long-term implications.