Science and technology in the Northwest led to many cutting-edge scientific discoveries, such as Britain’s first airplane, the birth of the first test tube baby, the splitting of the atom, and the world’s first computer. Science and technology continue to develop rapidly in this region, and many international brands, from medical research to military aircraft, have important research and design facilities in the northwest. More than 25% of the region’s £106 billion economy comes from science and technology companies.
1. North West universities play a major role in science and technology, and have a combined turnover of more than £1.2 billion, roughly 1% of the region’s total economy. Leading businesses, including those in the aerospace industry, automotive supply and manufacturing, nuclear energy and medical research, are closely associated with Northwestern universities. More than 50,000 students graduate from Northwestern each year, including 25,000 with life sciences degrees. More than 69,000 science students are trained each year.
2. North West Aerospace has sales of £6 billion and is responsible for the production of military and commercial aircraft and components that are used in the UK and exported around the world. Extensive research and development programs ensure that the latest technology is available to create the most advanced aircraft in the world. Countries around the world depend on the North West Aerospace Business for their military and commercial aircraft requirements
3. The chemistry industry plays a vital role in the North West and chemical sales contribute over £10 billion to the economy, which is approximately 20% of the UK chemistry industry. This sector employs approximately 220,000 people. In 2005, the Department of Trade and Industry announced that, as part of the Technology Program, it would be one of 19 new Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) in Chemistry in the Northwest. KTNs help exchange knowledge and research between companies and academic institutions such as universities and trade associations.
4. The North West and Cumbria in particular, is widely recognized as the center of the UK’s nuclear power industry and is home to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The research and development work carried out in this area has led the Government to conclude that the use of nuclear power is part of a viable solution to meet the UK’s energy needs.
5. There are more than 50 research institutes, many of which are multi-enterprise, in addition to the traditional research and development departments. The Northwest is home to the research and development divisions of many of the world’s leading companies, and investment in research and development for business in this region is greater than in any other part of the world except Asia. Recent reports show that 4 of the top 10 companies by R&D spending have significant facilities in the Northwest. Pharmaceutical development, including the UK’s largest center for cancer drug research, aviation and space companies, and consumer product manufacturers, as well as the chemical industry and nuclear energy are well represented in the North West.
6. The seven science parks in the northwest are home to many knowledge-based companies in diverse industries ranging from education provision to nuclear power and decommissioning. Strong links with universities, research institutes and centers of knowledge, in the UK and abroad, help ensure that science and technology in the North West is second to none.
7. Dedicated strategic science and technology sites have been established across the North West, and Manchester aims to become one of the first six science cities in the UK by 2015.
Manchester Science Park is internationally recognized as a center of excellence, and is one of the most successful of its kind. Tenants include healthcare, communications and digital media professionals.
The Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, near Warrington in Cheshire, is home to leading companies in diverse industries ranging from healthcare research to business support services. The nearby Daresbury Laboratory is one of the best resourced science facilities in the UK.
Liverpool Science Park, located right in the center of Liverpool, is the UK’s fastest growing science park, containing computer games, web design and software companies as well as lawyers specializing in intellectual property and technology law. Speke, also in Liverpool, is home to the National Biomanufacturing Centre, which is set to become Europe’s leading biopharmaceutical design centre, helping to create and develop new medicines.
West Cumbria Science Park, near Whitehaven, has more than 60 companies on site, ranging from environmental to engineering, many of which are involved in the nuclear power industry.
Lancaster’s Science Park is set to be developed this year, and will fall close to the top ten ranked universities. This exciting new project will combine academic knowledge with the resources of the renowned University, the knowledge of local business and the Lancaster Environment Centre.
8. With Manchester recently voted the most innovative city in the UK, and Liverpool’s reputation as one of the leading cities in computer game design, the North West is at the forefront of new technologies as well as traditional science and technology. The use of ICTs in education, website design, Internet technologies, television and film production, as well as other media industries, is booming in the region thanks to science and technology.
9. As well as looking to the future, the scientific history of the area is preserved through museums such as the World Museum in Liverpool, the Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire and Wigan Pier. Visual displays as well as hands-on activities, demonstrations, and different media show how science and technology have changed our lives, from mechanizing everyday tasks to revolutionizing manufacturing methods.
10. In addition to its outstanding science and technology facilities, the Northwest is a popular business location thanks to its impressive infrastructure. Close to 3 international airports, and a great highway system, North West is closer than you think. In addition, in the northwest there are many areas of outstanding natural beauty and a high standard of living.
There has never been a better time than now to find out how North West Science and Technology can help you.