Place-based innovation – the story so far

Place-based innovation: the story so far

In 2013, Sir Andrew Witty published his Review of Universities and Growth, ‘Encouraging a British Invention Revolution’. He put forth the view that whilst the kind of impactful university-business collaborations he wanted to see were happening in the UK, they were not happening consistently or strategically in a placed-based manner.

Almost three years on, this remains the case, if perhaps to a lesser extent.

Place-based growth: the heart of what we do

In developing the Smart Specialisation Hub, we recognise the importance of identifying and disseminating best practice for encouraging place-based growth. Indeed, it’s one of our core missions.

Lessons learned, tried and tested methodologies and coherent strategies that can be consistently applied can help to uplift local innovators across the country.

Over the course of the next month, beginning next week, we’ll be sharing some case studies from local areas and actors on our website.

Each of these will reflect the thinking of innovators and decision-makers at several stages of their process. Whether it’s developing a Smart Specialisation strategy, seeking to align projects and investments or simply doing some early-stage thinking on mapping their strengths.

Key players in their place

Emergent thinking from these studies should be of interest to place-makers and place-shapers across England.

In each instance, key players have made a decision to take a strategic approach to innovation investment, business-university collaboration or project alignment, and in some cases are already reaping the benefits.

Whether explicit Smart Specialisation methodologies and approaches have been applied or not, the underpinning rationale remains the same – considered, evidence-based prioritisation for place-based growth.

These case studies represent a small cross-section of the interesting developments across the country in place-based innovation, and any attempt to capture these exhaustively would be doomed to failure.

Accordingly, we will be sharing more examples of this nature in our forthcoming Annual Report on Smart Specialisation in England, which we plan to publish before the end of the year. We will continue to host articles on these developments beyond the end of September.

Get in touch

If you would like any further information on the case studies we’ll be presenting here, please do get in touch – we’d be delighted to facilitate an exchange with the authors.

Additionally, if you believe you have an interesting study or exemplar which might be of interest which you are willing to share across the Smart Specialisation Hub’s platforms, please do let us know.

About the author

Kim is the Digital Communications Officer for the Smart Specialisation Hub.

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