When I saw the announcement that Glasgow had been chosen by the UK Government in last week’s Levelling Up White Paper, I thought of Professor Sir Ken Calman.

It was his idea a decade ago to establish what is now Glasgow City of Science and Innovation; a grouping of the city’s partner institutions to raise the profile of Glasgow’s scientific credentials. Sir Ken was especially keen to secure the status of European City of Science and when he passed the chairing baton for Glasgow City of Science to me in 2015, he was keen we kept that goal in sight. The target is now complicated by Brexit, but I hope he will believe there has been progress.

Glasgow City Region becomes an Innovation Accelerator, alongside Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, as a pilot initiative with £100m of funding support spread over the next three years. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will oversee the initiative through its arm’s-length bodies, UK Research and Innovation and Innovate UK, with the White Paper expecting the Accelerators to ‘develop UK innovation clusters, boosting growth by investing in high-quality projects to grow R&D strengths, attract private investment, boost innovation diffusion and maximise the combined economic impact of R&D institutions’.

The UK Government described Glasgow’s Accelerator as a new Silicon Valley-style initiative and suggested that the MIT Greater Boston model was a further inspiration. It was Professor Sir Jim McDonald who proposed MIT as his own model when he became principal of the University of Strathclyde in 2009.

Local partnerships are expected to grow their innovation eco-systems and in Scotland there is a specific call for the Accelerator to work closely with the Scottish Government, whose early reaction was concern that there had been no consultation. I hope there can be some reconciliation here. There is common ground that overcoming the UK’s weakness in the commercialisation of academic research is at least one route to increasing productivity and creating the next generation of high growth companies.

That Glasgow has been chosen as an innovation ‘hotbed’ confirms the city is not starting from scratch. Take a quick tour through the City Council’s Glasgow Narrative website and you will see the evidence of its role in science and technology. The city region is home to three growing innovation districts exploiting strengths in advanced manufacturing, precision medicine and the enabling technologies like sensing and imaging systems, quantum technology and space communications. The BEIS sponsored science and innovation audits confirm Glasgow’s role in precision medicine and enabling technologies.

Both the UK and Scottish Government already have a wealth of innovation centres in the city region. Catapult Centres devoted to high-value manufacturing, satellite applications, offshore renewable energy and cities and transport research are all supported by the UK Government. The Scottish Government funds innovation centres for sensors, construction, digital health and care, precision medicine and industrial biotechnology and the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is emerging next door to Glasgow Airport.

The two governments now have a track record of co-operation in delivering City Deals and I hope that experience can form the basis for trusting the Glasgow partners to make sound decisions. I also hope that when the Levelling Up White Paper describes Innovation Accelerators as ‘pilots’ it means what that implies, and more investment will follow when the local partners show good progress.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce