The Hub website relaunch

The last three months have been particularly important – and busy –for the Smart Specialisation Hub.  In many respects, it represents a breakthrough period with a marked increase in both visibility and impact.

Throughout this period, we have been striving to raise our profile, demonstrate capabilities and potential, and support place-based initiatives wherever possible. Below you will find a review of everything we’ve been doing over the past three months.

The Hub and its new look

First, you are reading this on our new website – launched today, 14th July.  This new site is more simple and focused, designed to be easier to navigate and access information, as well as quicker to use.  It still retains the same great content we had before and you will continue to find our data, insights, documents as well as blogs from our team and luminaries of Smart Specialisation and place-based innovation.

This refresh and re-launch of the website marks the culmination of a lot of hard work to transform the Hub into a more impactful project, with reach across the place-based activities and thinking.

We especially welcome feedback on this new site, its content and suggestions for what you would like to see included here.

Working with the Science and Innovation Audits

As you may be aware, Wave 2 of the SIAs has largely wrapped up with final reports submitted to BEIS for comment and review. The Hub team has been working closely with the second wave of Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs), particularly:

  • We are members of the Innovation South and Oxfordshire Transformative Technologies steering groups
  • We are providing hands-on support for East of England, running workshops and reviewing their report to BEIS, and
  • We have worked with Liverpool and Leeds City Regions, attending workshops and starting a dialogue on next steps

The Hub will continue to engage with the SIAs as we enter Wave 3, and provide support, guidance, and our expertise where applicable.

Responding to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper

Earlier this year, the Government launched its Industrial Strategy Green Paper in January; it welcomed submissions during a consultation period, which ended in April. The Hub provided a response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, focusing on the innovation system and possible interventions.

The document was shaped by intelligence gathered by the Hub in consultation with its stakeholders; this includes its government, university and mission group partners, but particularly its connections to LEPs and SIA consortia.

The Hub will continue to link into the developing work of the Industrial Strategy and provide updates when they are available.

The Hub’s analytical offer

The Hub has also taken these last three months to consider our place within the place-based policy and innovation landscape. As such, we recently published Mapping England’s Innovation Activities, a visual analysis at the LEP level across 19 sectors as defined by Innovate UK. It marks a step change in the Hub’s analytical offer, and has been well received and we believe it is a unique view of innovation across England.

We have also completed our analytical frameworks for each LEP, which will be viewable online in our Observatory as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please do get in touch if you are interested in viewing and discussing the framework for your region.

Get in touch

As always, we are happy to help and to hear from you. Please contact us with comments, suggestion and queries, and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates and thoughts on current innovation policy.

About the author

Ross is Interim Head of Place for Innovate UK, and a Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the Smart Specialisation Hub.

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