A landmark agreement has been struck to boost innovation and R&D in Greater Manchester, with a vision for a £3.8bn economic benefit and more than 100,000 jobs across the city region. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Innovation Greater Manchester and Innovate UK commits the parties to closer collaboration to support business innovation. 

The agreement seeks to strengthen research and innovation clusters across Greater Manchester and to accelerate investments around long-term innovation developments. 

Also agreed by the parties is to work on a shared plan for the period to 2030. This will set out how the development of innovation assets in Greater Manchester will inform Innovate UK activities. 

The agreement was signed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, Innovate UK chief executive, Indro Mukerjee, and Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (GM LEP), Lou Cordwell, at a special event held today (2 December) at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) in Manchester.  

The GEIC is a facility which helps companies develop new technologies, products and processes that exploit the properties of graphene and other 2D materials. 

Greater Manchester's Innovation Plan outlines how sustainable growth powered by innovation could provide a £3.8bn economic benefit and in excess of 100,000 jobs across Greater Manchester. 

Andy Burnham said: 

"Levelling up the country means rebalancing R&D spending so that regions can realise their potential. Innovation stimulates sustainable growth, which leads to better quality jobs and increased wages, raising the living standards of people across Greater Manchester." 

Lou Cordwell, chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (GM LEP) and Innovation Greater Manchester board member, said: 

"The signing of this agreement is another significant step in our ambition for Greater Manchester’s innovation economy. By working with Innovate UK we can ensure the work done to create value through innovation responds to the strengths and opportunities unique to Greater Manchester." 

Greater Manchester was one of three areas in the country chosen to develop an Innovation Accelerator. Launched as part of the Levelling Up White Paper, Innovation Accelerators will support businesses and research in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow city-region with a share of £100m of Government funding.