On Monday 20 March, the University of Cambridge hosted a reception in the Houses of Parliament to launch a new report that shows it is a research powerhouse driving the most successful economic cluster in the UK. The analysis by respected consultancy London Economics shows that the University adds nearly £30 billion to the economy every year and supports more than 86,000 jobs across the UK

The event was an opportunity to showcase this impressive contribution to the UK economy to Parliamentarians and policy makers. It was also a chance to discuss how elements of Cambridge's strategic success may be implemented in new and emerging clusters across the UK.

A highlight of the evening was George Freeman MP, the current Minister of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, delivering a very well received speech on the importance of Cambridge as the "golden corner of the golden triangle". The Minister expressed his delight at receiving such a short, focused summary report and spoke of the importance of the continued success of Cambridge for both the East of England and wider UK economy. 

The Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner MP, offered thoughts on infrastructure issues in the city that, if solved, would unlock further potential for economic growth, including tackling congestion, seeing progress on East West Rail, and finding solutions to the lack of lab space. He also described how centres of excellence, like Cambridge, need to be nurtured and supported by government policy, including targeted funding to incentivise innovation. The report had immediate impact when Daniel mentioned the results of the analysis in the House of Commons budget debate that he returned to immediately after the event.

Baroness Sally Morgan of Huyton, Master at Fitzwilliam, and who kindly sponsored the event, highlighted the finding, that for every £1 the University spends, it creates £11.70 of economic impact.

Professor Andy Neely closed the speeches, restating the headline findings and highlighting the ways in which government policy could support the ecosystem’s continued success and help Cambridge attract the best global talent.  

We were delighted to host local stakeholders, including representatives from Nyobolt, Abcam and Cambridge Enterprise, who were on hand to answer questions on how and why the University was crucial to their success. 

Attendees from Parliament included former Universities Minister and Chair of Innovate Cambridge, Lord David Willetts and former Chancellor, Lord Norman Lamont. From the Commons, Chi Onwurah MP (Shadow Science Minister) and Seema Malhotra MP, also joined us for the event.

Download a copy of the report.

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