August 2020

Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester to head up £32m Productivity Institute

The institute, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will strive to make the UK economy more productive.

“This is a landmark investment by the government. It demonstrates how serious the government is about solving the UK’s productivity puzzle and importantly, it signals a commitment to help create an economy that works for everyone, with growth that is sustainable, inclusive and regionally distributed. We are proud to lead a group of some of the UK’s most prestigious institutions to tackle what is perhaps the greatest economic challenge of our times and to do so from our region, with its rich heritage in productive growth”.

Professor Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester and Oxford Road Corridor Board Chair

Alliance Manchester Business School will host the Productivity Institute in its premises at The University of Manchester and will be working in partnership with eight other institutions: University of Cambridge, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Glasgow, University of Sheffield, King’s College London, Queen’s University Belfast, Cardiff University, University of Warwick.

The new £32m Productivity Institute is being funded by £26m from ESRC and £6m from Alliance Manchester Business School and its partner institutions for five years starting from 1 September 2020.

The aim is to help policy and business leaders across the UK understand how to improve productivity and living standards and to make long-term policy recommendations that help to improve the UK’s productivity as the economy begins to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The Institute will be led by Professor Bart van Ark as Managing Director who has been appointed to a Chair in Productivity Studies at Alliance Manchester Business School and was previously Chief Economist at The Conference Board in the US.

Professor van Ark said: “For many years the UK has grappled with how to create better jobs and boost productivity, thereby increasing people’s prosperity around the country. The COVID-19 recession makes it time for a fresh look at these challenges. If we are to reboot the economy we need jobs that create high value, use economic and natural resources efficiently, and drive sustained growth through technological change and innovation. Productive jobs will pay more and improve people’s well-being. Working closely with businesses, policymakers and other stakeholders across the nation and sharing insights with other countries, we aim through our research and engagement to develop practices and policies to encourage more productive and inclusive growth across the UK”.