In an interview with The Sunday Times, Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said the Government was in talks to set up a centre in the North to invent products for the global market, with Leeds as a suggested home.
Mr Berry is leading the discussions and told The Sunday Times: “MIT in Boston is one of the world’s most dynamic universities and provides its region with a significant boost to its economy.
“We want to set up a world-leading institution in the North to rival Oxford and Cambridge, where the best and brightest will base themselves to create new ideas and sell them.”
And Conservatives sources said funding would be on offer for those at the centre to develop inventions.
It was also revealed that the North could be in for another win as it is set to receive a “large chunk” of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The Sunday Times reports the money will be spent on clean energy research and development; green-collar jobs such as those connected to wind farms; and transport connectivity, with the Northern Powerhouse in control of the cash.
“I want this to be about a transfer of power and money back to the north of England, rather than constantly having to ask the Treasury for money,” Mr Berry said. “This is about making the change a permanent one.”
It is part of a clutch of plans which include a £900m devolution package for West Yorkshire, stripping Northern Rail of its franchise, and an extra £2.4bn of funding for metro mayors.