Policy Learning Lab
Key actors across the UK, including some of the most prominent businesses and policy making institutions, have been setting out their vision about how to increase the competitiveness of UK manufacturing. A fundamental goal that has emerged is to help address the UK’s regional disparities through the revival of manufacturing. Investment in infrastructure, skills, technology, business support, collaboration networks, and more devolution are expected to help regional firms become more competitive.
The Regional Technology Foresight project aims to support this goal by creating a set of processes at a regional level to identify the future technologies that will be important for a region’s firms and at creating collaboration among key regional stakeholders around how to best exploit these technologies.
Since the start of the project, we have been analysing the economic strategy and policy documents produced in and for the Sheffield City Region over the last five years, and on January 9th we organised the Policy Learning Lab at The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, to engage key stakeholders in a process of collaborative analysis and reflection on policy making in the region.
Participants included the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Growth Hub, local Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry - Yorkshire and the Humber, the Sheffield and Yorkshire and the Humber TUC, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University regional engagement teams, the National College for High-Speed Rail, several businesses, and a number of academics from the two Sheffield universities.
The insights generated by the active participation of these key stakeholders at the Policy Learning Lab will directly shape the final version of the upcoming "Looking Back, Moving Forward" report, focused on appraising the key strengths, areas for improvement, and the role of technology in the policy debates in the Sheffield City Region.