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Tue, 06 Dec


Online Event

The Economy of the East

The UK’s economy is facing a challenging period of transition. How can a regional focus on economic development help to manage this change?

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The Economy of the East
The Economy of the East

Time & Location

06 Dec 2022, 14:00 – 15:00

Online Event

About the event

The East of England is home to some of the world’s foremost scientific assets with distinctive strengths in Life Sciences, Agri-tech, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing and ICT. It also has strong and distinctive innovation capabilities. Together, these constitute a world class resource. The potential linked to them is outstanding.  

At an aggregate level, the economy in the East performs well on a number of indicators compared to other regions and nations in the UK. However, this performance masks underlying levels of deprivation, in terms of low-skills, low-incomes and poor health, as well as a number of structural issues – like affordable housing, transport and connectivity - that are holding back the region’s potential for growth.  

So how can the East’s overarching aspiration for science and innovation help to attract substantial investment to sweat these assets and create an interconnected innovation ecosystem? How, over the next decade, can the region deliver sustained economic growth that can benefit the wider region and the UK? And what role must local and national strategies play in achieving this?

If this aspiration to drive growth, raise productivity and narrow regional inequality is to be achieved, it must address the four future-facing “gaps” identified in the region’s Science and Innovation Audit.

  • Unlocking investment – recognising that this will be a complicated investment proposition to both drive growth and level up communities
  • Improving skills – acknowledging that middle-high level skills in all aspects of computer and data science are in very short supply across the region
  • Enabling co-location and clustering – recognising that convergence can be accelerated through increased proximity between places
  • Increasing connectivity – acknowledging that movement between places and rapid transfer of large volumes of data will be a crucial underpinning for the innovation ecosystem of the future

The UK’s economy is facing a challenging period of transition. How can a regional focus on economic development help to manage this change? The Eastern Powerhouse is hosting this event to discuss these pressing issues.   


  • George Freeman MP, Mid Norfolk
  • Dr Adam Brown, Head of Regional Policy, Cambridge Econometrics
  • Matthew Bullock, Honorary Vice-Chair, Cambridge Ahead
  • Richard Holt, Director of Global Cities Research, Oxford Economics
  • Phillip Blond, Director, Eastern Powerhouse (Event Chair)

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