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Minister calls for an ‘Ivy League of the North’ at Liverpool summit

The Northern Powerhouse minister called for an ‘Ivy League of the North’ during an event in Liverpool yesterday (7 June).

Jake Berry addressed the inaugural Northern Powerhouse Higher Education summit at the University of Liverpool’s Foresight Centre.

Vice chancellors, academics and researchers from across the North’s top universities were in attendance as the challenges and opportunities of automation in the workplace were discussed, along with how universities throughout the area can work more closely on tackling challenges of our time.

During the one-day conference Berry said: “Our northern universities are developing cutting-edge technologies in areas such as advanced manufacturing at the AMRC and in experimental new 2D materials at the National Graphene Institute and Innovation Centre.

“Now is the time to build on this success and bring about a new era of cooperation between universities in the Northern Powerhouse. We need an ‘Ivy League of the North’ in which the N8 Research Partnership and our other great northern universities combine their technical knowledge, expertise and know-how to deliver the economy of tomorrow.

“At the heart of this we can create a highly-skilled, highly-educated new generation of graduates.”

The North West’s universities of Liverpool and Manchester are among the ‘N8’ research-intensive education providers, alongside Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, which are said to deliver 119,000 jobs and £12 billion to the regional economy.

According to the government, they also help more than 31,000 businesses and create more than £6.6bn GVA (Gross Value Added) to the region.

Other speakers during the event included Knowledge Quarter Liverpool’s executive director, Colin Sinclair; Professor Dame Janet Beer, vice chancellor of the University of Liverpool and president of Universities UK; and Professor Wiebe van der Hoek, professor of computer science, and Dr Louise Dennis of the autonomy and verification laboratory at the University of Liverpool.

The summit also saw the announcement that the University of Liverpool is the latest to join the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, which already has more than 120 businesses and organisations supporting the vision for a super-connected, globally competitive northern economy.