Science, technology and innovation are key to local economy, says new study

West Notts College principal Dame Asha Khemka, who backs the findings of the study.
West Notts College principal Dame Asha Khemka, who backs the findings of the study.

A new study has found that more focus needs to be placed on science, technology and innovation to boost the economy in the Mansfield and Ashfield area.

The results show that greater investment should be pumped into research and development to foster an innovation culture among businesses.

Ambitious firms should also be given financial help to enable them to grow and unveil new products or ideas. And skills and training must be improved to engage better with the digital revolution.

The three-pronged findings were the result of a science and innovation audit commissioned and funded by D2N2, the local enterprise partnership of businesses, local authorities, training providers and community and voluntary services across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

D2N2’s chief executive Matt Wheatley said: “Our ambition for a dynamic and productive economy, led by science, technology and innovation, and creating opportunities for us all, is only achievable by pinpointing the changes needed and bringing partners with us. To do this, we needed an in-depth study of our current position, which this audit provides. It will be extremely useful.”

The audit was backed by Mansfield’s West Notts College, whose principal, Dame Asha Khemka, said: “We have a responsibility to drive this agenda forward to ensure that highly-skilled and employable individuals are equipped to work in this ever-changing sector.

“We work closely with businesses so that the training we provide matches their industry needs. Investment in science and innovation is essential to ensure greater productivity for the UK.”