UK Innovation Districts and Knowledge Quarters – Driving More Productive Growth
In a special report released this month, Knowledge Quarter and other leading innovation districts around the UK have made the economic case for government investment into mature and growing innovation districts.
UK Innovation Districts Group (IDG) from UK Innovation Districts and Knowledge Quarters – Driving More Productive Growth by Arup.
The consulting and engineering firm Arup has released a report outlining the importance of innovation districts to the UK economy. The firm has been working with the UK Innovation Districts Group (IDG), a body established in October 2017, which represents six major innovation districts across the UK – in Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.
According to the report, greater investment in innovation districts will help accelerate productivity growth in the UK. Specifically, it will support more inclusive growth by prioritising diversity, education, skills and social networks to create fair and thriving local economies and is critical to delivering the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
What is an Innovation District?
Innovation districts are urban areas with networks of knowledge producing organisations such as universities, research bodies, teaching hospitals, cultural institutions and knowledge intensive businesses. They bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, creatives, knowledge workers and investors to collaborate, compare and compete, creating the conditions for business growth.
The report, which marks the first collaborative project for the UK Innovation Districts Group, looks at the progress made by its districts so far: factors for success, issues to be overcome and the priorities and opportunities for the future. Based on these findings, it sets out a series of recommendations for national and local Government, promoters and institutions including:
• Government and cities and city regions should prioritise investment in innovation districts to support the delivery of the Industrial Strategy
• Innovation districts should build on their existing work to help lead the way in increasing productivity through inclusive growth
• Innovation districts should work together more closely as a national network
• Cities, city regions and innovation districts should continue to secure capital investment in public spaces, physical and digital infrastructure, and new buildings in innovation districts
• Government, LEPs and Combined Authorities and cities should invest in developing the hard and soft networks to support business growth in innovation districts
You can read full report in full here:
“This report shows that innovation districts are emerging as new urban districts that can help UK cities create, scale up and attract fast-growing firms which will drive more productive and inclusive economic growth. In the context of the UK’s sluggish productivity growth, government and cities should prioritise investment in innovation districts as part of a place-based approach to delivering the industrial strategy.”
“Innovation Districts are reshaping and rejuvenating major urban areas around the UK. This inaugural report highlights the real potential that innovation districts have to increase productivity and ensure local economies across the UK are more economically inclusive and prosperous.”