East maintains record of innovation

THE East of England is maintaining its reputation for turning ideas into commercial success, according to a report from Insight East.

Innovation Insight 2010, which provides an update on a previous report published in March last year, identifies continued success for the region in terms of innovation.

Insight East, the economic intelligence unit of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), says that the region now ranks second only to the South East for generating intellectual property.

This follows a 22% rise in the number of software and non-software licences issued by higher education institutions such as Cranfield University, the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia.

The report does warn that weak educational attainment and the relatively small higher educational sector compared to other UK regions is a barrier to economic success.

But Glenn Athey, director of Insight East, said: “Although educational and research performance is holding the region back from achieving its full economic potential the report finds our innovation performance has improved since 2009.

“The East of England has a history of turning ideas into commercial reality as our record in registering new patents and licences shows. This new study, which updates some of the key indicators, concludes that we continue to have strong innovation assets and links, particularly where the private sector is involved.”