At an event hosted by the University of Bath’s School of Management and sponsored by EDF Energy, some of the most influential business minds and entrepreneurs in the South West identified that cultivating world leading sectors was vitally important in driving future economic development and employee engagement.

Rolls Royce, Screwfix, BMT, Rotork, Yeo Valley and Pennon were among over 100 business leaders who gathered at Bath Assembly Rooms on 23 March to forge partnerships and discuss collaborations that can aid economic growth in the region.

The event showcased a number of collaborations which highlight how the University is collaborating with business and society in the region, including the proposed Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems. It is planned to be a Centre of Excellence for research and innovation into future advanced propulsion systems, enabling the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Productivity through People is a unique blueprint for growth. It brings together four world class engineering organisations – EDF Energy, Babcock International, Rolls Royce Plc and BAE Systems with the University’s School of Management, to support and invest in the business leaders of the future. It gives leaders access to the latest techniques, thinking and research and a framework to improve upon the competitiveness and efficiency of their business.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, Dean of the School of Management, said at the event: “It may be easy to form a wish list for the future, but we all have our part to play in taking action. Good universities have a critical role in research, knowledge creation, fostering talent and forging strong partnerships that translate expertise and innovation into real-world impact.”

At the end of 2016 the University embarked on an innovative research partnership with EDF Energy, the company behind the UK’s new nuclear power station project, Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The partnership is establishing the HPC Supply Chain Innovation Lab in the University’s School of Management, to create a community of academics, managers and policy-makers with the aim of improving the management of supply chains within complex capital projects.