Science and Innovation Audit
A Science and Innovation Audit Report sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Professor Michael Porter popularised the idea in his hugely influential book The Competitive Advantage of Nations back in 1990, and policy-makers have been trying to build on it ever since. Porter showed how competitive clusters of enterprises can drive innovation, stimulate new business growth and increase the productivity of economic actors in the area. But as many politicians have discovered, such clusters can’t be developed artificially. Instead, they tend to be an accident of history – a rare mixture of research-based excellence, entrepreneurial flair and financial capital, all with a strong cultural underpinning. The Knowledge Quarter, stretched around King’s Cross in London, has the capacity to be the just the kind of competitive cluster that Porter described. Centred on great research and cultural institutions, it is turning into a magnet for knowledge-intensive industries from around the world. This Science and Innovation Audit shows the impact that is already being felt on the economy of the area. And it suggests that the Knowledge Quarter could develop into an asset of national and global importance as the UK seeks to reposition itself in the world. The British Museum has been in the neighbourhood for a very long time, and will play its part in turning this part of town into a hub of innovation, new ideas and talent.
Welcome to the Knowledge Quarter’s (KQ) Science and Innovation Audit report which is concerned with data, with exploration and most importantly with understanding the resulting information. Research and study are the first step in the formulation of new knowledge, but without the ability to take the second step – without the ability to analyse patterns and formulate responses – all one has are meaningless figures on a page. The KQ excels at fostering understanding, as a catalyst for collaboration between disparate organisations. That is why McKinsey is so pleased to be the newest member of the KQ family. This Report examines what it means for the KQ to be what it is, and where it is; and looks at how this organisation, and others like it, can be a vital change-driver in the evolving praxis of the knowledge economy.
KEY STRENGTHS OF THE KQ
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
NETWORKING AND COLLABORATION
A VISION FOR LONDON’S KNOWLEDGE QUARTER