Collaborators shot at dawn?

THE term “collaborator” has negative wartime connotations, with perpetrators accused of conspiring with the enemy and subject to court martial.

Of course, I hope that we recognise collaboration as being something much more positive: “working with someone else to produce something” or “jointly undertaking an intellectual endeavour to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome” and it’s only by taking this type of approach that we will underpin a prosperous and successful future for our regional economy.

This area is famous for its innovation and entrepreneurship traits but at the same time we have a deserved reputation for figuratively putting our arms over our answers so our rival classmates can’t copy - just think of the power that could be unleashed if we shared our homework!

The majority of funding within the City Region Deal is focused on establishing innovation and technology hubs that have an absolute requirement for collaboration at the core of their DNA.

Aberdeen is fortunate to have two of the foremost universities in the UK alongside North East Scotland College, and each of them has a central role to play in this.

Clear evidence was presented at the Chamber’s recent Power of Diversity conference, to support the fact that organisations that embrace diversity in all its forms - and specifically diversity of thought - deliver better profits, return on investment and shareholder value than their peers that don’t.

In the oil and gas sector, we have seen operators and their suppliers partnering in previously unseen ways to drive a 45% reduction in operating costs that will contribute significantly to the maximising economic recovery agenda.

Driven in part by the financial constraints they are operating under, our two local authorities have formed an alliance on common operational issues; establishing a shared services model to deliver key activities such as procurement.

Additionally, they are working more closely together than ever before to agree and deliver key strategic priorities for Aberdeen city and shire.

The Regional Economic Strategy, City Region Deal and the establishment of a single destination marketing organisation for the region are all evidence of a much more joined-up approach which is starting to bear fruit.

At the Chamber, this approach is at the heart of the way we operate, bringing to life our core values which include demonstrating leadership, steering collaborative activity, enabling networking, promoting best practice exchange and “doing” rather than just talking.

On a daily basis we are connecting members with shared challenges and common interests, enabling their problem to be shared and opportunities created.

We work closely with a wide range of partners to deliver initiatives and campaigns including Developing the Young Workforce, Buy North East and the Chamber played a leading role in securing the Great Aberdeen Run.

And we team up with other membership organisations to ensure that the voice of North-east business is heard loud and clear in the corridors of power.

All adding up, we hope, to “creating the buoyant, diversified regional economy that will enable our 1,300 member businesses and the 130,000 people they employ to be more successful and prosperous”.