As the urban councils of the West Midlands work closer together through the adoption of a City Region model, it is timely to take account of the assets and qualities of the area. The City Region will need a strong centre. However, other hubs and clusters across the city region will also need to play key roles - contributing to joined up thinking, policy and action.
In a 21st Century global knowledge economy, successful City Regions will thrive where they enjoy a rich science and research base. Close relationships between universities, manufacturing and technology firms and the wider business community will be vital. Spotting and nurturing talent early and giving young people diverse educational opportunities will be the order.
The University of Warwick is one of the UK's top five universities with a world class reputation for research and teaching, as well as in entrepreneurial and community engagement. Founded in 1965 with a modern campus located within easy reach of both Coventry and Birmingham city centres, it is an outstanding international success story for the region.
Warwick has a strong track record in providing thought leadership. It is renowned for innovative approaches, particularly in relation to knowledge and technology transfer. The Business School already ranks as World Class. Warwick Arts Centre is the region’s largest arts centre, boasting six major spaces on the same site. The University’s involvement in the local community and the wider region is an integral part of its mission and ethos - just last year I helped Warwick open an office in Birmingham to grow its links.
To signal Warwick's achievements and to reflect its vision, June 2006 sees The University of Warwick launch its first ever campaign in the region under the banner of Intellectual Capital.
I would welcome your reaction.
Dr Brian Woods-Scawen
Chair CSWP Ltd