£6m science partnership between businesses and academia has put ‘Hertfordshire ahead of the game,’ says Richard Harrington MP

Speaking at the launch of the Hertfordshire Science Partnership, Richard Harrington MP said: “Hertfordshire is ahead of the game because it is a partnership between businesses and academia. It puts them together and I think it has a brilliant future.”

Nearly £4m of Government and EU funding is supporting innovation by brokering a unique partnership between businesses and the University of Hertfordshire to help bring cutting-edge research and development to market.

The Partnership leverages the university's state-of-the-art science facilities and academic expertise to boost the dynamic pharmaceutical, life sciences and agri-technology sectors in the East of England.

Hertfordshire LEP invested £2.5m Growth Deal and £1.45m European Regional Development Funds into the programme with the University sourcing the remaining investment from industry.

Following on from the launch, Mr Harrington then outlined the key role Hertfordshire LEP will play in developing a Local Industrial Strategy for Hertfordshire at its Annual Conference.

The MP for Watford said: “We’re seeing the benefits in Hertfordshire. What’s happening here shows how it [the LEP] prioritises what is the basis for bringing more businesses into an area.”

Mark Bretton, Chair, Hertfordshire LEP, said: “There are a number of capabilities here in Hertfordshire that are not just local for the county or the UK but are global leading, such as defence with MBDA, space, Airbus; life sciences with the Catapult and Catalyst in Stevenage. We have Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the home of Harry Potter, and fantastic research at Rothamsted and BRE. I could go on.

“The challenge we have set ourselves is not to be a dormitory of London but to build something here that will have a big impact on the UK economy.”