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The Chairman of the Business & Enterprise Committee, Peter Luff, will lead a visit to the West Midlands on Monday and Tuesday of next week (12th and 13th May) as part of an inquiry into Creating a Higher Value-Added Economy.

The Committee will hold an oral evidence session at Coventry University Technology Park on Monday with academics and representatives the regional development agency. The following day the Committee will visit companies in the region, including some based at the innovation centre at Longbridge and QinetiQ in Malvern.

Peter Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire, commented,

"The three members of the Committee who represent West Midlands constituencies - Julie Kirkbride, Adrian Bailey and myself - are particularly pleased that we are making this significant visit to study local research and development facilities and higher value-added businesses. We hope to see examples of the sort of innovation that can be nurtured to create the higher-value added economy we need in the face of intense global competition.

"I'm obviously delighted that we are seeing two locations of such importance to Worcestershire - Longbridge in the north and QinetiQ in the south."

During the visit the Committee will meet leading business people from the region and hold a discussion with the management of Jaguar Land Rover to discuss the implications of Ford's decision to sell the business to Tata.

The programme includes:

Monday 12 May

1.30 pm. Oral evidence session open to the public at the TechnoCentre Conference Centre, Coventry University Technology Park


Panel one: Professor Michael Clarke, Vice Principal, Birmingham University; Dr James Wilkie, Director of Research & Commercial Services, Birmingham University; Professor Madeleine Atkins, Vice Chancellor, Coventry University; Professor Ian Marshall, pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Coventry University; Professor Keith Popplewell, Director, Future Manufacturing Applied Research Centre, Coventry University

Panel two: Mick Laverty, Chief Executive, Advantage West Midlands; Dr Richard Hutchins, Corporate Director for Economic Development, Advantage West Midlands; Phil Extance, Director of Innovation, Advantage West Midlands.

Tuesday 13 May

9.30 am Visit to Longbridge Innovation Centre

11.30 am Visit to QinetiQ, Malvern.

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