Businesses create wealth and add value to regions. Through their own spending power and that of their employees they create multiplier effects which spread through to other businesses and underpin regional economies.

But firms have different levels of impact on regions, according to their own value chains and supply networks chains, and one of our main objectives at City-REDI is to help policymakers understand this variation so regional growth policies can focus on the right businesses. With the right interventions, we increase the regional impact of businesses, to enhance economic performance or inclusivity.

The UK faces a productivity challenge. For regions outside of London this challenge is greater and the underlying causes are more embedded. City-REDI is carrying out research at the firm level, across business sectors and supply chains to understand the regional dimensions of the productivity puzzle. Investment in skills and R&D and the development of innovative capabilities, new products, services and processes are all key factors which drive productivity. More productive firms enhance regional competitiveness and attract more skilled employees on higher incomes, creating stronger multiplier effects. We are studying how policies can promote this virtual cycle, which benefits businesses, people and places.

City-REDI also examines entrepreneurship, start-ups, spin-outs and scale-ups as part of the regional innovation system. Strong clusters of R&D-intensive firms, linked to research-active universities can create high-value jobs and attract new firms to regions. Some new technologies also have an enabling effect, improving productivity across a wider range of businesses and supporting broader regional competitive advantages.

Research projects

Commercialisation: Bridging the University-Industry Gap

The commercialisation project aims to understand the role social sciences can play in bridging the divide between technology and research developed in universities, and market opportunities where value will be added.

Dynamic Economic Impact Model (DEIM) – Skills and Business Support

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) commissioned a new, bespoke economic modelling framework which was delivered in summer 2016.

Developing an Innovative and Collaborative Approach to Localised Industrial Strategy Delivery for the West Midlands

The aim of this project is to test the potential of the compete model, built by PA Consulting and used internationally to help define Manufacturing and Service sector strategies for a rapidly changing economy.

Developing a Strategy for Economic Resilience in the West Midlands Combined Authority: The Role of Skills and Industrial Structure

The project aims to understand what factors can affect regional resilience. This will inform policymaking in improving the capacity of localities to adapt to negative shocks in the future.

The Realities, Challenges and Strengths of the External Funding Environment at LEP Level

This project investigates LEPs and their partners' experiences of securing funding, seeking to shed light on the challenges they face as well as the strengths of their approaches.

Industrial Strategy Council Skills and Places Secondment

This project examines skills investment in the UK and how the UK system compares to international skills systems.

Local Institutions, Productivity, Sustainability and Inclusivity Trade-offs (LIPSIT)

The LIPSIT project will investigate the role local institutions have in managing the trade-offs that emerge when trying to grow regional economies in an inclusive and sustainable way.

Local Space Cluster Development Support Programme

This project has been funded by the UK Space Agency to support the development of a local space cluster in the West Midlands.

Optimising Regional Creative Clusters

This research aims to compares two UK regions with growing creative sectors, and asks how can regions optimise their creative clusters.

Productivity and Prosperity: Inclusive Growth for the West Midlands

At the heart of this project is the "productivity puzzle" and the magnitude of the issue facing the "problem regions".

Productivity From Below: Addressing the Productivity Challenges of Microbusinesses

This project aims to lift the lid on the challenges facing microbusiness by focusing on three key sectors: retail, catering and creative.

Raising Productivity in Low-wage Sectors and Reducing Poverty

This research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, looks at the role of productivity in employers' wage setting decisions in low-paid sectors in the Greater Birmingham and West Midlands region.

Rural Workforce Response to the NHS Workforce strategy to 2027 – Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future

This research is concerned with applying a rural lens to the workforce challenges facing the NHS in England.

Skills and Productivity Commission – Business and Professional Services Sector Deep Dive

This research was commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority for the Skills and Productivity Commission, as part of developing a local Industrial Strategy.

The Economic Impacts of Brexit on the UK, its Regions, its Cities and its Sectors

This project started in April 2017 and is part of a series of 25 projects funded by ESRC to support the initiative UK in a Changing Europe coordinated by Professor Anand Menon at King's College London.

The Future Business District

This project has been funded by Colmore BID to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on business districts and look at how they might they remain successful as places in the future.

The Impact of Universities on Regional Economies

This project aims to identify the economic impact of universities in their regional economies by focussing on the effects of increased spending associated with HEI activities.

The Midlands Engine Economic Observatory

The Midlands Engine Economic Observatory has been created to deliver an Independent Economic Review of the Midlands as well as a sector assessment of the potential impact of Brexit for the region.

The Urban Living Birmingham Project

The Urban Living Birmingham project was awarded in May 2016 following a successful bid to the Urban Living Partnership call for pilot projects.

Socio-Economic Impact Model for the UK: SEIM-UK

SEIM-UK is a UK Multi-regional Input-Output model being developed by City-REDI to provide detailed sector and place-sensitive economic analyses.

Wolverhampton Economic Assessment

The Wolverhampton Economic assessment draws together an array of data and information to understand the key issues for the Wolverhampton economy and to inform a response to the key issues which exist.
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