The Knowledge Quarter has been recognised in two important draft Government strategies – the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper and the Mayor of London’s Economic Development Strategy. This is a result of months of policy work from the Knowledge Quarter in championing the national and international significance of innovation districts; areas which provide the conditions for organisations from different sectors to exchange knowledge, work together and innovate.
Industrial Strategy White Paper
The Industrial Strategy White Paper, Building a Britain fit for the future, is the UK’s long-term strategy to boost productivity and earning power. Following our Green Paper consultation responses where we stressed the importance of place-based innovation, we are pleased to see a new recognition and emphasis on “innovation ecosystems” and “innovation clusters.”
The Knowledge Quarter was recognised within the Industrial Strategy as one of the successful Science and Innovation Audit areas. Building on the work of these Science and Innovation Audits, the strategy also announced a £115m Strength in Places Fund to support “collaborative programmes based on research and innovation” capable of “enhance[ing] collaboration between universities, research organisations, businesses, local government and LEPS.”
Mayor of London’s Economic Development Strategy
The Mayor of London’s Economic Development Strategy launched in December 2017 for consultation, also recognises the importance of the Knowledge Quarter for London. The Knowledge Quarter has been included as a case study within the “Supporting London’s sectors” section; recognising the importance the interplay of different sectors within it is in creating the conditions for innovation.
“Innovation and transformational change occur when different sectors collide so it is important that sectors are not considered in isolation. The interplay between different sectors is evident across London, such as in London’s Knowledge Quarter and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In these areas, the Mayor can help to provide the spaces, infrastructure and the right governance structures for different sectors to work side-by-side, and use his power of convening to bring the right partners together.” – Mayor’s Draft Economic Development Strategy
The Knowledge Quarter is continuing to emphasise the importance of place-based innovation to key stakeholders within local and central Government. In December, we published “Unlocking Knowledge – Connections and Trust within the Knowledge Quarter” our research exploring the value of multi-sector clusters like the KQ. Moving forward, as well as undertaking our Science and Innovation Audit, we are collaborating with a number of similar innovation districts to explore the importance of these clusters for the whole of the UK.