Politicians, leading industrialists and senior academics are holding a high level meeting in Yorkshire tomorrow (Friday) to discuss how the region can make the most of the huge potential for jobs and growth offered by a boost in the bioeconomy.
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Yorkshire & Northern Lincolnshire have been invited to the region by Yorkshire Universities, the membership association that represents all 12 higher education institutions in Yorkshire.
The invitation-only event is called ‘Harnessing the bioeconomy for jobs and growth in Yorkshire’ and will bring business, policy and higher education together with the very people who can influence policy.
Emily Wolton, Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities, said:
“We greatly value the work of the APPG and are very pleased to have the opportunity to host this meeting; we want to get the message out that the bioeconomy has unique benefits for jobs, businesses, rural economy, society and the environment across Yorkshire.
“Yorkshire and Lincolnshire represents 10% of the UK’s bioeconomy and has a unique complement and concentration of knowledge, agriculture and industry combined with the largest concentration of food and drinks businesses in the UK. Yorkshire is equal if not greater than other areas of the country in key biotechnology sectors.”
The event will be held at the University of York and will be chaired by Andrew Percy MP. The keynote political speaker is Anne McIntosh MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Select Committee, who will talk about the impact of the current political landscape on the development of the bioeconomy.
Sarah Hendry, Director of Rural Development, Sustainable Communities & Crops Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will share the government’s wider policy context and perspective with delegates.
Barry Dodd CBE, Chair of York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Enterprise Partnership will share his vison for the scale of opportunity that the bioeconomy represents and Professor Ian Graham, Head of Biology at the University of York, will discuss the commercial role of the universities.
Cllr Stephen Parnaby, chair of the Local Government Yorkshire and Humber (LGYH) and leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“Local authorities across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire have been delighted to work with our universities and business partners on this event, which will demonstrate how we can work together as a region to make the very most of the huge potential that exists for economic prosperity, job creation and skills improvements across the bioeconomy sector.
“The very concept of an APPG for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire first came out of a cross-party delegation of local government leaders, which met with MPs to galvanise their support around the huge economic and employment potential of the renewables sector – and, just like renewables, the region has unparalleled potential to be a leading, Global centre for the bio-economy sector too, and we are determined to work together across Local Government, Parliament , Academia and Industry to unlock these great opportunities for growth.”
Yorkshire Universities is a key member of the APPG and Emily explains that higher education has a significant contribution to make to the future prosperity of the region. She added: “The vital contribution our universities make to the region can be measured in many ways - economic development and growth, income generation, job creation, world leading research, innovation and knowledge exchange, business start-ups, and record numbers of graduates from the UK and overseas.
“Yorkshire Universities is delighted to be hosting this APPG where we can really showcase to policy makers what powerhouses Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are in UK’s bioeconomy.”