Agenda item

Science and Innovation Audits


At this point Edwin Booth, Jo Turton and Martin Kelly joined the meeting with Edwin Booth and took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.


Professor Mark Smith, Vice Chancellor, Lancaster University presented a report (circulated) which updated the Board on Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs).


Professor Smith explained that the report briefly set out the policy context and purpose of SIAs, and sought Board approval for developing Lancashire's approach to developing an EOI submission in early 2016. 


It was reported that in late November 2015, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) announced their intention to invite organisations throughout the UK with an interest in research and innovation to form consortia and express an interest in undertaking a Science and Innovation Audit .  SIAs are intended to help build evidence of potential global competitive advantage and begin to identify routes to realise that potential.


Following discussion the with LEP Chair, and subject to Board approval, the Vice-Chancellor has agreed to lead a small project team, including senior representatives from UCLAN and Edge Hill and Cumbria Universities, with support from LEP officers, to advise the LEP and progress Lancashire's SIA case-making.


It was reported that the First Wave Deadline for Expressions of Interest (EOI) was 29 January 2016 with decisions on highest priority SIAs taken during March 2016.  During April – June 2016 the first wave of SIAs will be completed with the second wave opening for EOIs in summer 2016.


It was proposed that Professor Smith direct a small team, involving senior representatives drawn from Lancaster, UCLAN, Edge Hill and Cumbria University, with support from LEP officers, to scope Lancashire’s approach to taking forward its SIA analysis and advising on possible consortia arrangements.


This work stream will also provide the opportunity to refresh the LEP's current innovation framework which was developed in support of the SEP. In the meantime, the initial views of the Board on the key strengths and assets for consideration in the development of Lancashire’s SIA analysis were welcomed and received.


If required to advance this work stream, Professor Smith will submit a funding proposal, drawing on available LEP Core Funding, for future Board consideration and approval.


It was noted that the Board may need to hold a special meeting in late January, or the Executive Committee may need to consider an update report and agree the preferred way forward, as the next Board meeting is scheduled for 2 February. The deadline for first wave SIA Expressions of Interest is 29 January.


Resolved:  The LEP Board:

(i)  Noted the contents of the report.


(ii)  Agreed to nominate Lancaster University, under the direction of the Board, as the lead body for a Lancashire-led Science and Innovation Audit, in consultation with UCLAN, Edge Hill University and Cumbria University.

(iii)  Appointed the Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University to lead and develop Lancashire's case-making, as outlined in section 5 of the report, and requested that he submit a further report to the Board to update and agree Lancashire’s SIA approach; and


(iv)  Requested the Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University submits a funding proposal, with rationale in support of developing Lancashire’s SIA case-making, to the next Board meeting.

Supporting documents: