Knowledge is power behind town’s futureBy Mike Pyle
September 14, 2010
Businessmen and women discussed how sharing knowledge and education is at the heart of the area’s economic future.
Representatives from businesses around Bracknell met over breakfast at Ascot Racecourse for Bracknell Chamber of Commerce’s Business Insight meeting on Friday, September 3.
The guest speaker was David Gillham, director of research and enterprise services at The University of Reading, who spoke to an audience of more than 60 people about the importance of knowledge to the area.
David said: “The Thames Valley is the UK’s biggest knowledge economy.
“We’ve got a strong base of innovative companies.
“Lots of people think of the Thames Valley as being the UK’s Silicon Valley with lots of IT businesses – but that’s just a slice of what’s here.
“What we have to do, and what we can help with at the university, is to try to create a community of innovation where businesses are linked to the knowledge they need.
“Together we can encourage Thames Valley to be an even better place for business to happen.”
David also spoke about how the area becoming a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) could benefit the economy in Bracknell.
The LEPs are a Government measure to replace regional development agencies. Areas make a bid to become an LEP based on their ability to form a local economy in terms of resources rather than geographical boundaries.
Bracknell is part of a bid by economic development company Reading UK CIC and Reading Borough Council, which includes Bracknell, Reading, Wokingham and part of West Berkshire.
David added: “This is a new chapter in the economic development of Thames Valley and my passion for a long time has been looking at ways to get organisations collaborating for mutual benefit.
“The Government has made it clear that an LEP bid will have a university at the heart of it and we have talked about all the things that are going on.
“We are all passionate about how we continue to drive Thames Valley and Central Berkshire forward.”
Before David spoke he was introduced by Tim Smith, executive director of Reading UK CIC, who said: “Reading and Bracknell have been identified as the best place in the UK to seek out new jobs – it puts Reading and Bracknell shoulder to shoulder at the heart of the local economy.”