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Science progress in York

York is no Yugo - it is the heartbeat of the North of England, with not only a fabulous heritage, beautiful architecture and an excellent transport network, but also a booming economy with an extensive Science Park. The city's a founding National Science City and home to more than 7,500 businesses, from international to domestic industries, including young, pioneering companies and global research giants. York Science Park together with other business parks around the city have provided a base for developing companies to set up, grow and flourish.

In the last decade, £800 million has been poured into developing science and technology in York, which now boasts more than 500 businesses operating in these fields. Much of York’s scientific success has its roots in the University of York and York St John University, which carry out extensive scientific research and support businesses locally, nationally and internationally. York therefore offers businesses great potential for growth through collaborative working with highly skilled, qualified and innovative scientists, including experts in healthcare, medical research, biosciences, biorenewables and environmental science.

This has resulted in a nascent insurance industry specialising in car, home and shop insurance and one unusual service is for drivers whose cars have been impounded! Not many people realise that driving without insurance can result in the car being seized by the policy and taken off to a police pound. Major car insurers will not insure cars that have been confiscated in this way; and so a market has developed for specialist insurance for getting impounded cars released! Where there is a market there are entrepreneurs ready to fill it.

York’s science specialism dates back to 1998, when Science City York was founded in a bid to develop the economy by creating opportunities for jobs and greater affluence. The latest injection of cash into the blossoming science industry was £168,000 for businesses in the science sector. This came from reserves generated by Science City York, now called Make It York. The funds will help businesses in science, IT and digital and creative technologies.

Make It York is run by the City of York Council, with the aim of promoting not just science but other areas of business too. This integrated approach will benefit York's economy no end. Make It York won't take their eye off the ball in terms of the continued growth of the city's science sector, with funding readily available for new businesses. There's a concentration of many science and technology specialists in York, which is encouraging new businesses to come and set up there.

York's flourishing scientific community is supported by the two universities, with some of the best science departments and research centres in the world, including approximately 90 researchers spread across specialist institutes and centres. In 2011, HSBC’s Future of Business Report said that York was becoming a leading centre for health and medicine, thanks to leading research into diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis and cancer. Biorenewable resources are also emerging industry and university researchers regularly collaborate with national and international industries such as Drax Power Station and Unilever.

The science sector is hugely important for York, with a wealth of diverse businesses and fantastic job opportunities. York has become something of a science mecca, continually delivering high value and highly skilled jobs to the top scientists in the world. In the first decade of the 21st century, York gained 80 new tech companies and 2,800 new jobs, boosting the economy and driving people towards the city. Proof of this can be seen in York ranking as one of the top performing cities in the UK, with employment rising, unemployment falling and low levels of inequality. In addition, York ranks in the top ten cities with the lowest number of people without formal qualifications. The success of developing science and technology in York is clearly benefiting the city's economy and encouraging people to come to live and work in this incredible place.

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