In recent years emerging technologies have been drastically changing the way economies operate. This trend shows no sign of stopping as digital and physical technology disruptors such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, block chain, advanced materials and robotics will continue to drive unprecedented change and create new opportunities for growth. Greater Manchester is eager to understand how emerging technologies are shaping the local economy and what future opportunities will emerge.
Greater Manchester is the most economically diverse city region in the UK. The range of emerging technologies being developed and deployed spans numerous disciplines and activities. Manufacturing, finance business services, health, social care as well as digital and creative industries are all engaged in the shift to more tech driven business models. This has manifested itself in:
- Advanced manufacturing as it shifts to more technology-based processes and orientates to more service based products as a source of value and competitive edge.
- Business Finance and Professional Services making increasing use of machine learning to automate higher skill functions and data analytics to drive business decision-making.
- Health and Social Care using new materials and big data to roll-out new methods of treatment and diagnosis.
- Creative industries embracing digital production and distribution methods to reach new audiences and enrich content.
Manchester is well-placed as it has a globally significant concentration of science, research and innovation assets. There are four universities in GM, the University of Bolton, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, all of which are carrying out leading research in specialised areas.
These are complemented by private sector R&D facilities, science parks and anchor institutions which provide a focal point for new investors and help retain a competitive pool of skilled workers and entrepreneurs. We know the health and materials agendas have strong prospects. The National Graphene Institute and the upcoming Sir Henry Royce Institute will create one of the densest concentrations of materials research in Europe. GM has huge NHS assets as well as The Christie which houses the largest set of early-phase clinical trials in the UK, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. The unique devolved £6bn pa health and social care budget creates significant opportunities for GM to be a world leading innovation test-bed.
But what next? How can Greater Manchester build on its base to attract more entrepreneurs and investors looking to drive businesses through emerging tech in other sectors? What technologies will drive growth and what assets will draw the interest of investors?
Data City is working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority GMCA & MIDAS applying their technology (open data, the web and machine learning) to tap into new sources of granular data to provide real time insight into how the economy of Manchester is growing and changing.
-  New Economy (2016), Research Summary Deep Dive Report
-  New Economy (2016), Deep Dive: 02 Manufacturing
-  Regeneris (2017), Opportunities for Supporting the Growth of Manufacturing in Greater Manchester
-  New Economy (2016), Deep Dive: 03 Business, Financial and Professional Services
-  New Economy (2016), Deep Dive: 05 Health & Social Care and Health Innovation
-  New Economy (2016), Deep Dive: 04 Digital and Creative Industries
-  New Economy (2016), Greater Manchester and Cheshire East Science and Innovation Audit