The Wear region’s growing reputation for technological innovation can only be boosted by the government’s new National Innovation Strategy, says the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The UK government has developed the Strategy to drive innovation across the UK post-Brexit.

And the LEP – a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas – says that good be good news for the region.

Alan Welby, North East LEP innovation director, said: “The vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035 is ambitious and timely.

“I am immensely confident that the North-East can play a key role in making that vision a reality.

“We’ve always known that innovative economies are more productive and therefore make a stronger contribution to GVA.

“That’s why in the North-East, innovation has always been central to our Strategic Economic Plan that aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs in the North-East economy by 2024.

“We welcome this strategy and the importance placed on levelling up.

“We are keen to see the strategy translated into new projects and programmes to deliver on the ambition for innovation, coupled with greater investment to match.

“The North-East is ready to work with the government to drive a step-change in innovation activity across our region.

“We already have key programmes in place and a pipeline of strategic innovation projects that are investment-ready.

“The strategy correctly places a focus on increasing private sector investment in R&D and innovation.

“Encouraging more businesses to innovate, beyond frontier firms, will be key to achieving the 2.4% R&D target and improving the UK’s productivity.

“We are ready to support our businesses to do this.

“I’m encouraged by the emphasis on more places in the UK hosting world-leading and globally connected innovation clusters.

“We have assets, capability, talent and potential to realise that ambition and we look forward to working with the government to deliver a place-based approach to unlock that potential.”