Spaces to Think: Innovation Districts and the Changing Geography of London’s Knowledge Economy

Knowledge Quarter supports ground-breaking report from Centre for London

London’s Knowledge Quarter (KQ) welcomed publication of a new report from the Centre for London highlighting the capital’s innovation districts; areas that provide the right conditions for organisations from a range of sectors to exchange knowledge, collaborate and innovate.

“Spaces to think: Innovation Districts and the changing geography of London’s knowledge economy”, recognises the Knowledge Quarter as the city’s largest and most mature innovation district. It also highlights the Knowledge Quarter’s best practice in governance and supporting the local community through its innovative higher apprenticeship scheme with Camden Council and projects aimed at raising the aspirations of local young people.

It goes on to argue that innovation districts like the Knowledge Quarter could become powerful engines of inclusive economic growth. By collaborating with the private sector, London’s universities and research institutions could create long-term employment opportunities, help to upskill local residents and provide new public spaces and a sense of place.

Some of the recommendations include:

• Adapting the London Plan to recognise the role played by innovation districts.
• Encouraging spatially focused inward investment strategies as well as sector-focused strategies.
• Allowing universities and innovation districts to sponsor Tier 2 visas, making it easier for SMEs to tackle demand for skills in the short and long term.

Roly Keating, Chair of the Knowledge Quarter and CEO of the British Library said: “This report recognises the immense economic and social impact that concentrations of knowledge-based organisations can have for London. The Knowledge Quarter brings together commercial, public and non-profit organisations of all sizes from sectors including culture, science, research, academia and music and is developing rapidly as one of the UK’s major centres of innovation. The Knowledge Quarter looks forward to working on the findings of this report and the new Mayor of London to help shape the future development of the area around Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Bloomsbury.”

More information: Jodie Eastwood, Knowledge Quarter, 07789 396 351

Notes to Editors:

Centre for London’s publication “Spaces to think: Innovation Districts and the changing geography of London’s knowledge economy” was supported by Bilfinger GVA, Delancey, Future Cities Catapult, Here East, the Knowledge Quarter and the London Boroughs of Camden, Croydon, Islington and Sutton and Hawkins\Brown.

Please download the full report here.

About the Knowledge Quarter

The Knowledge Quarter is a partnership of 66 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations within a one-mile radius comprising of King’s Cross, Bloomsbury and Euston, who all have within their purpose the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Since its launch in December 2014, it has welcome a further 37 organisations as partners including the Alan Turing Institute, the Arts Catalyst and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. The KQ’s partners range from internationally significant research institutes to emerging organisations in the creative industries. Partners include the British Museum, the University of the Arts London, Google, the Digital Catapult, Wellcome Trust, The Guardian and the British Library.

The Knowledge Quarter partners represent:

– 7 higher education institutions
– 13 cultural institutions
– 21 museums and galleries
– 27 libraries and archives
– 66 partner organisations
– 500 research groups, centres and institutes
– 3,000 scientists
– 12,000 academics
– 50,000 staff
– 77,000 students
– 10,000,0000 annual visitors
– 180,000,000 catalogued items