Oxfordshire can play a major global role in driving forward the UK economy through four transformative technologies – that’s the conclusion of a new science and innovation report.
Findings from the Oxfordshire Transformative Technologies Alliance’s science and innovation report (SIA report) says that the county can become a ‘global leader’ through:
- digital health
- space-led data application
- autonomous vehicles
- technologies underpinning quantum computing.
It suggests that Oxfordshire has the ability to help strengthen the future national economy as the lead UK region for these four science and innovation areas.
The SIA report says that to maximise the national opportunity for Oxfordshire, investment is required in infrastructure – to accommodate growth potential and appetite – whilst ‘living lab’ test beds are also required to develop, refine and prove technologies.
Oxfordshire would have the potential to develop data services, products and software, with opportunities for integrated research and development testing – proven in real-world environments.
The SIA report responds to a commitment made last autumn by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, with the view to better understand the future economic impact eight UK regions – including Oxfordshire – could have on the nation and the world through science and innovation.
It also aims to help ensure future investment, across science and innovation, becomes more targeted.
Dr Nick Scott-Ram, Oxford AHSN Director of Commercial Development, said: “This valuable report highlights opportunities where technologies converge, for example, through combining digital health with autonomous vehicles or satellite communications.
“Ultimately quantum computing is likely to have a transformative effect on the handling of large datasets. Such convergences could have a profound effect on healthcare.”
The project was led by the University of Oxford with the Oxford AHSN, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), Oxford Brookes University, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Satellite Applications Catapult. Input was also included from other industry, local government and research partners.
Dr Phil Clare, Head of Knowledge Exchange at University of Oxford, said: “The SIA has improved our understanding of Oxfordshire’s outstanding capabilities in such areas as digital health, translational research – and accelerating those pathways to market – next generation sensors, cryogenics and the extensive interest in our propositions by companies which are increasingly aware of the transformations and opportunities ahead.
“These are all technology areas where the UK has an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage for the whole country in future industries – as part of a coherent industrial strategy – and Oxfordshire stands ready to play its part.
“At the top of the Times Higher rankings of universities across the world for the second year in a row, Oxford’s world-leading research in these technologies are a key part of the county’s innovation resource.”