News Article

Enterprise Zones - will they solve the innovation gap?


This week sees the deadline for submission of bids for the next round of Enterprise Zones. Enterprise Zones may offer one tangible way of delivering jobs and growth, but there are a number of issues that come with the distinction, not least the potential displacement impact as the more light footed businesses quickly jump into the zone, and then jump out again at a later date. According to CLG 'the focus of the vanguard Enterprise Zones is on cities and those areas that have missed out in the last ten years', but the 'winners' so far include many of the economies that have in fact benefited most from RDA and European investment in that time.

In an article in the recent Public Service Review SERIO's Director, Adrian Dawson contends that it is in relation to stimulating innovation more generally where we have most to do, with stark figures on levels of innovation compared with other countries. Enterprise Zones will not close this gap, and there is much that can be done by economic partners across the country to foster enterprise and innovation, whether or not they are one of the lucky few to be selected for EZ designation.

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