New deal between University of Portsmouth and council aims to make city a 'hotbed of innovation' and boost prosperity
A NEW partnership aimed at making Portsmouth a 'hotbed of innovation' and encouraging economic growth has been agreed between the city's council and university.
The five-year 'strategic agreement' focuses on six main areas, including the environment and health, and will see the two organisations partner for 'major' funding bids.
University vice-chancellor Graham Galbraith said the partnership 'makes a lot of sense' with the interests and expertise of both aligning in many areas.
'We have shared aims on climate change, on supporting innovation, as well as the wider cultural development of the city and in making Portsmouth a great place to visit and to live,' he said. 'There is a lot of work ahead of us but I am confident the agreement constitutes a step-change in co-operation and working with the city council.'
Included in the agreement is a pledge for closer working on at least one 'innovation quarter' outlined in the council's long-term economic development strategy. A centre based on clean growth, which includes the university's enzyme innovation hub, is already being progressed.
It also outlines proposals to create a 'medical technology cluster' in the city aimed at encouraging greater growth in the sector.
A joint statement by the university and council said: 'We will work together to create an infrastructure that will attract and nurture innovative companies, link with the expertise and facilities of the university and others, and accelerate the speed that new products and services come to market.'
The remaining four areas of focus in the agreement are on sustainability, biodiversity, the sharing of research and combining efforts when bidding for funding.
‘Portsmouth has an excellent reputation for encouraging and supporting business which we want to ensure continues,’ council chief executive David Williams said. ‘It makes sense for Portsmouth City Council to work closely with the university, sharing expertise and resources to the benefit of both partners and for the city.’
It will be subject to annual reviews and new aims could be added to it. A steering group will also be formed to monitor progress.