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Universities to strike Northern Powerhouse alliance to create ‘Ivy League of the North’

All of the 28 universities across the north of England are to forge an alliance and create a plan of action to drive the Northern Powerhouse agenda forward.

The unprecedented move is a direct response to the Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry’s call to create an elite “Ivy League” network of universities leading the country in science, research and innovation.

The leaders of the 28 universities will meet at a summit on Wednesday organised by the University of Hull.

The university said the aim is to collaborate and devise a plan to create an energy economy capable of leading the world in low-carbon growth.

Susan Lea, vice-chancellor of the University of Hull, declared: “United, we can create a culture of innovation that will help shape a dynamic, sustainable and low-carbon economy for the north.

“Not only will this help balance the north-south divide, but it will benefit the nation as a whole and further enhance the north of England’s position on the global stage.”

READ MORE: Five things you didn’t know about the Northern Powerhouse

Key topics on the agenda will include: the economics of low carbon cities, creating a northern energy innovation cluster, the importance of university collaboration and how to build partnerships for a sustainable and circular economy.

The vice-chancellors, deputy vice-chancellors and pro vice-chancellors from across the universities will also discuss how the Humber can be turned into a low carbon demonstrator for the UK.

Ultimately, the university leaders will agree on an action plan for how they can grow the Northern Powerhouse.

Also attending the conference will be representatives from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Northern Powerhouse partnership, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, CEO Connected Catapult and the N8 Research Partnership.

READ MORE: Time to build a truly northern powerhouse

Commenting, Jake Berry said: “At the inaugural Northern Powerhouse Higher Education Summit in Liverpool, I called for an Ivy League of the North where the N8 Research Partnership and our other great northern universities can combine their technical knowledge, expertise and know-how to build the economy of tomorrow and create a highly-skilled, highly-educated new generation of graduates.

“I am proud to see universities from across our region delivering on this ambition with the Universities of the North conference taking place this week at the University of Hull.

“With a focus on exploring the opportunities presented by the low carbon agenda, I am looking forward to hearing how government can support our region’s best researchers, thinkers and academics so that the UK remains a global leader for green technology and tackling climate change.”

To find out more about the Northern Powerhouse and mix with leaders from across the region, join us in Manchester at EvoNorth on 4 and 5 March 2020. Click here to find out more.

Image credit - Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images


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