The Midlands Engine

The term "The Midlands Engine" is used in relation to a set of initiatives that were announced by Philip Hammond MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in The Midlands Engine Strategy on 9 March 2017. The aim of those initiatives is to stimulate growth in the East and West Midlands.  There is a Midlands Engine Partnership chaired by Sir John Peace with a website and various other publications.

The Midlands Engine Area

The area covered by those initiatives includes the East and West Midlands which stretches from the Pennines to the Chilterns and from the Welsh Marches to the North Sea.  In the words of The Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit Summary, the area includes:
"11 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and includes internationally significant core cities such as Birmingham and Nottingham, growing regional hubs like Coventry, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Milton Keynes, Stoke-on-Trent, and Wolverhampton, and a high quality natural environment, including the Peak District National Park."
The Initiatives

The government hopes to stimulate growth in the Midlands Engine Area by:
  • Improving connectivity to raise productivity;
  • Strengthening skills to make the Midlands a more attractive location for businesses;
  • Supporting enterprise and innovation to foster a more dynamic regional economy;
  • Promoting the Midlands nationally and internationally to maximise trade and investment; and
  • Enhancing quality of life,
The Partnership

According to the "Partners" page of the Midlands Engine website, the Midlands Engine Partnership consists of "thousands of businesses", 28 top tier local authorities, 9 local enterprise partnerships and 20 universities. Rather more detail is provided by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership which has published Annex 1 Midlands Engine Structure.  There is a Midlands Engine Strategic Leadership Group with a secretariat and 7 sub-subgroups of which the most important appears to be the Midlands Connect Strategic Board. That Board is chaired by Sir John Peace and consists of a minister, transport sector experts, local government leaders from the East and West Midlands and local enterprise partnership chairs from the East and West Midlands.

Relevance for Intellectual Property

The support of enterprise and innovation should result in the creation of more inventions and other intellectual assets as well as funding for development and marketing. Licences will be required to deploy technologies that will improve connectivity and raise productivity.

Further Reading

Dept for Communities and Local Government
Gov.UK website

Midlands Engine
Jane Lambert
NIPC East Midlands