Yesterday I attended a seminar on harnessing science, great universities and new enterprise to promote growth.
The UK has several universities in the top ranks of world academic achievement. Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial London and other leading London establishments provide homes to some of the greatest world scientists and thinkers. However, if you compare our leading institutions with the Boston and Californian clusters of academic excellence which often top world tables we score less well when it comes to attracting private sector donations, harnessing venture capital and developing more new business on the back of the university achievements.
There is a growing interest in the idea of a golden triangle linking Oxford, Cambridge and London. There is also some success in all three main university locations in developing new business, attracting in new capital and encouraging more entrepreneurs. Oxford, Cambridge and London now have their own clusters of science and technology based businesses with good links and connections into the universities. Our success is one many other parts of the world would like to emulate, even if we are still behind the two best of the US on some of the qualifying results.
I trust the Autumn Statement will assist these important areas with improved transport links. They are developing critical mass for themselves in areas like nuclear, pharmaceutical and genetic developments. They can help generate the more interesting better paid jobs which a first world economy needs.