the hubs

mobilise communities and markets

Central to the SSR Programme, the three Hubs, across low-carbon heating, new medical technologies and sustainable urban mobility will engage directly with businesses, supply chains, industry interest bodies, and other key sector organisations. It is the hubs that will build the new markets and sectors within the region.

They are designed to clear the industrial and commercial roadblocks to the rapid growth of promising technologies and business models, driving productivity in new sectors and creating thousands of skilled jobs by building on the applied innovation activities generated through their programmes. This will focus on:

  • Re-skilling: up-skilling and future proofing the regional workforce, increasing jobs and skill-levels in the region, improving GVA at the national level, with skills academies, and the programmes and assets from the participating Universities.
  • Providing scale-up support: manufacturing acceleration, mentorship and leadership training, business incubator facilities, funding and systems integration.
  • Providing state of the art assets: for research and product development, rapid scale up support, testing and validation and use of facilities.
  • The decarbonisation of heat is the major energy challenge that will impact nearly every UK citizen. For the West Midlands region this presents a major opportunity to enable economic recovery with the majority of UK boiler manufacturers being based in the region. The NHDH will enable the rapid scaling up of manufacturing, skills and deployment of heat solutions, all necessary to meet carbon reduction targets.
  • The scale of intervention mirrors that which happened in the off-shore wind sector. This delivered a sectorial transition by recognising that a scale-up and cost reduction programme required the co-ordination of standards development, supply chains, planning, scaling of manufacturing and working with business to enable them to transition into the sector.
  • The UK faces major challenges in its capability and capacity to create and mobilise both basic supplies and novel technologies to respond to healthcare challenges. We will help address the sector needs for: better market intelligence; a need for innovative, flexible regulation; support for SMEs to rapidly scale; expansion of manufacturing capabilities; pioneering use of new technologies, including digital health and precision medicine such as advanced therapies, implantable devices and novel diagnostics.
  • The West Midlands is ideally placed to respond, with the UK’s second largest med tech SME cluster, with arguably the largest capacity for growth in turnover and employment, and a regional manufacturing and automotive base able to pivot major supply chains. This would open huge potential expansion and rapid scale-up capacity in a sector which returns triple the average regional GVA per employee.
  • Scaling our current regional industry base is predicted to increase employment by over 6,000 new jobs and turnover by ~£2.5bn, in a market worth over £70bn in UK annual turnover and predicted to hit ~£500bn globally by 2024.
  • Transport is critical to the region. The sector is undergoing a revolution and the SMT Hub focus will be on accelerating infrastructure (wireless communications, intelligent transport systems, roads, “cycle-ways”, electronic vehicle charging, light rail links, modal connectivity) and investment in vehicle technology from micro-mobility (scooters, electric bicycles and motorcycles, L-segment cars/vans) through to cars, commercial vehicles, buses, future rail - light rail, hydrogen trains, and airports.
  • The region is already world-leading in the development of batteries and electric vehicle technologies and we will encompass micro-mobility, light and hydrogen rail and commercial vehicles. This opens up major new industrial opportunities in battery manufacturing and recycling, electric motors, power electronics, wireless connectivity and control systems, as well as opening up entire new vehicle categories for innovation and for recycling of these products at the end of their working life.

Lead Local and Think Global

The SSR programme systems support will reach out to thousands of regional businesses in new ways, creating pathways for pivots and new markets through fore-sighting, establishing an innovation pipeline for future products and securing inward investment. Resource allocation and strategic decisions will be informed by a SSR world-leading integrated Programme, Business Futures, focusing on business data and economics analytics and assessment.

Stabilise and Ready For Action

Drawing on the Made Smarter Northwest Pilot, the SSR productivity booster programme supports our West Midlands ‘make to print’ supply chain companies, kick-starting adoption of digital technology and automation and building leadership capability to ready business for the new SSR markets.

Protect The Future

Our pipeline programme develops future markets and creates the underpinning capability and community belief that the West Midlands can pivot and grow with Pre-hubs defined in areas such as quantum technology, food innovation, circular economy and artificial intelligence and robotics

Our programme allows an integrated, whole systems approach: matching under-utilised capacity with untapped markets and supported all the way by the innovation and business transformation expertise across the whole of the West Midlands. Rolling wave planning will be used, underpinned by live economic and market data to ensure that we constantly adapt approaches and investment to maximise impact.