Call to bring the Advanced Research and Invention Agency to Birmingham

A new campaign has been launched by business leaders and citizens to bring a research institution to Birmingham.

Last year, the government announced it would create the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) as an independent body to fund high-risk, high-reward scientific research.

It will be led by leading scientists who will have the freedom to quickly identify and fund transformational science and technology.

Regional leaders in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands are now calling for the agency to be based in the city and have identified the old Curzon Street station as a place to locate it.

The building, which dates from the 1830s, is believed to be the oldest railway terminus in the world and will also form part of the city’s new HS2 station.

Among those backing the bid are West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Manufacturing Technology Center Chief Executive Clive Hickman, Birmingham City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Brigid Jones and Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of research, innovation and enterprise at Birmingham City University, adjacent to Curzon Street. station.

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The coalition said the West Midlands was the “natural place” to host ARIA because of its strong industrial heritage and investment in innovation, access to cutting-edge industrial and academic expertise, location center of the region and its record of investment in green technologies on the sites. such as the UK Battery Industrialization Center in Coventry.

Mr Street said: “With a fast-growing young and diverse community, our region has the next generation of innovators and inventors who can help meet the government’s ambition to be a science superpower.

“In post-pandemic Britain, the establishment of ARIA in the West Midlands will contribute to upgrading by creating high quality jobs and new skills for residents, as well as addressing the regional imbalance of public and private investments.

Mr Hickman added: “With its proud manufacturing heritage and strong track record of attracting inward investment, the West Midlands offers the ideal ecosystem for the next chapter in the UK’s innovation story. .

“The region is already leading the race for innovation….as well as housing several industrial powerhouses, providing the next generation of facilities and minds to benefit ARIA in its aim to achieve transformative technological change .”

National Learning Week 2022