To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that the forthcoming single pot funding and new round of European Regional Development Funding encourages economic development potential through science discovery collaborations planned between research-intensive universities and zoos.
The Local Growth Fund will be awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) on a competitive basis, on the strength of the Strategic Economic Plans they submitted to Government at the end of March. It is for LEPs and other local partners to put forward the proposals that, based on their local knowledge, they consider will have the greatest impact on economic growth. Discussions between Government and LEPs are continuing, with the aim of announcing Growth Deals in the summer.
For the 2014-2020 EU funding period the Government have asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to work with local partners to determine the investment priorities in their areas. Support to strengthen research, technological development and innovation will be a key objective for the European Regional Development Fund. The next stage is for local partners to work together to help develop a pipeline of projects that will meet the local investment priorities. BIS will advise the national stakeholder group which oversees the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund on whether these investments are meeting local, national and EU innovation objectives.