Reflection from Jeremy Long, Chair

Reflection from Jeremy Long, Chair

Reflection from Jeremy Long, Chair

On behalf of OxLEP, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, I would like to thank you for taking the time to explore this year's annual report; 'Leading, delivering and championing', reviewing our impact during the 2019/20 financial year.

As we enter a new financial year, the global economy is currently witnessing unprecedented turmoil and this is having a direct impact on the livelihood and welfare of millions of citizens.

What has become apparent very quickly is that Oxfordshire is leading the international response to one of civilisation’s most critical times. Our innovative life sciences and healthcare sector has given the world crucial sources of hope, as well as solutions for the future.

This includes the development of a possible COVID-19 vaccine which is working to develop a clinically-effective antiviral at the fastest-rate ever seen.

Set alongside these pioneering feats of discovery is boldness in innovation and entrepreneurship, shown by the numerous contributions of the county’s smaller businesses in advancing therapy trials, reagent development and genomic sequencing technology, medical device development and digital health approaches.

The unprecedented times experienced during the early part of 2020 do not invalidate the overall direction of travel in economic development, growth and prosperity in recent years.

Since our launch in 2011, OxLEP has been at the centre of much delivery, bringing together our key private sector assets and highlighting their unrivalled potential to national and international stakeholders. Our ambitions are significant. We are competing on a global stage for talent, trade and investment and we understand the responsibility which Oxfordshire has to the success of the wider UK economy.

Our aim is for Oxfordshire to be one of the top three innovation hubs in the world: the playground for innovators and the location of choice for entrepreneurs and risk takers ready to change the world with new products, ideas and businesses.

We have put foundations in place here in Oxfordshire through our Local Industrial Strategy and the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy, which will remain key to recovery and future success as will the work we are leading on skills and international investment.

Based on a unique collaboration between business, academia and the public sector, we are building a world-class ecosystem here in Oxfordshire.

Landmark investments, the development of skills and a lasersharp focus on the transformative, sustainable technologies that will deliver maximum growth to UK PLC are all evidence that we have the ability, capability and track record to deliver against critically important objectives.

Our annual report records some recent successes and explores how Oxfordshire – supported by strong leadership from OxLEP – can lead the nation’s economic recovery. What has been achieved to date is illustrative of the clear momentum that has been built here in Oxfordshire. And it is just the start.

OxLEP has been a driving force in this transformation, bringing together public and private ambition in a way that is only possible because of the type of organisation we are.

We remain ready to harness our experience and continue our work.

Jeremy Long, Chair