Norfolk's innovation

The Eastern region, Norfolk in particular, is fast becoming the home of the most innovative counties in Europe, especially within the fields of food, medicine and energy.

Hubs of innovation throughout the region are driving forward practical uses of technology to benefit agriculture and bring fresh thinking to how we grow food.

Norwich Research Park (NRP) houses a unique cluster of organisations at the forefront of global food and health research, including food security, healthier and more nutritious food, resilient crops and industrial biotechnology.  These organisations include the John Innes Centre, Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly the Institute of Food Research) and the Sainsbury Laboratory.

Many of Norfolk’s largest food processing companies – some world-leaders in their fields – employ highly skilled technologists and scientists who work closely on product development, food preservation and food safety.

Our advanced manufacturing and engineering sector employs 10,000 people (10.3% of the workforce compared to 9.5% nationally) in sectors from food processing to Formula 1.

More than 100 automotive engineering and related advanced manufacturing companies form growing clusters along the A11 corridor between Thetford and Norwich.

Towns such as King’s Lynn and Fakenham are also substantial manufacturing centres.

The sector is supported by the Hethel Centre, the region’s advanced manufacturing and engineering hub.  This has ambitions to become a technology park (similar to NRP) and aims to develop 2,200 skilled engineering jobs as well as additional business incubation space.

Norfolk County Council has set up a Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee to improve digital connectivity in our county and exploit the opportunities new technology presents.  The committee leads the council’s work to build digital infrastructure that will serve Norfolk’s growing technology industry, as well as local businesses and residents.