Oxfordshire is ‘open for business’ – that is the message the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) will once again be taking to Central London tomorrow (15 January), as it stages its second House of Commons economic briefing.
It will be the second of four briefings lined-up for Westminster, which sees OxLEP ‘taking the Oxfordshire economy’ to a national stage, with each event promoting one of the four transformative technologies highlighted in the county’s 2017 Science and Innovation Audit.
This briefing will focus on space-led data applications and will be hosted by Wantage MP Ed Vaizey, on behalf of all Oxfordshire MPs.
The event will highlight some of Oxfordshire’s internationally-competitive space assets, including keynote discussions led by Mike Lawton – the CEO and Founder of Oxford Space Systems – and the Culham Science Centre-based Reaction Engines.
Oxfordshire is right at the centre of a UK space industry, which is expected to be worth £40billion by 2030.
Around 65 guests are set to attend the exclusive event, including investors, foreign embassy representatives and companies working in space and satellite technologies.
The series of House of Commons briefings will highlight how Oxfordshire’s four transformative technologies, alongside the county’s world-class research and development capabilities, could bring major global opportunities boosting the UK economy.
The county’s Science and Innovation Audit has suggested that the transformative technologies of connected and autonomous vehicles, space and satellites, technologies underpinning quantum computing and digital health has the potential to add £180billion GVA growth to the UK economy by 2030.
OxLEP’s first economic briefing took place in September last year, with a focus on connected and autonomous vehicles.
In November, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark visited the autonomous vehicle technology developer Oxbotica to announce the UK government had committed £25m towards three autonomous vehicle projects, potentially bringing the introduction of self-driving cars to Britain’s roads ever closer.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “The key message we will continue to take to Westminster is that Oxfordshire is very much open for business.
“With a GVA of £23billion per annum, we are one of only three net county contributors to the Exchequer. We also have a track record of nurturing genuine innovation and taking it to a world-stage – in particular, through the space sector, given that we are home to the number one concentration of science research facilities in Western Europe.
“Oxfordshire is recognised globally as a place that can support innovation-led growth, greater productivity and major ‘place potential’ as we move towards an ever-increasing internationally-focussed economy.”
OxLEP’s next House of Commons breakfast briefing will take place on 19 March, with a focus on digital health. A technologies underpinning quantum computing briefing is set for May this year with both events taking place at Westminster.
Pictured above: Rafael Jordá Siquier of the Harwell Campus-based, Open Cosmos