September 23rd

Virtual Event

Join us for the most important forum on Innovation Districts.

Innovation is at the heart of the UK’s recovery from COVID and the future economy. At the same time, it is widely recognised that economic productivity is unevenly distributed across the UK.

Following the publication of the Government’s UK Innovation Strategy, place leaders across the country are reflecting on how best to invest in innovation and create regional hubs of discovery and job creation. The Innovation Strategy has been clear in its ambitions: local places will be driving growth, building on existing strengths to enable innovation and attract investment. 

To build momentum and help achieve this, the Connected Places Catapult will convene a national network of place-makers and innovation practitioners who are looking to build the next generation of UK innovative hubs, quarters, and districts. Professionals from a range of backgrounds are invited to the Summit to share ideas for stimulating the innovation economy in their localities. 

We invite you to join, to meet with other place-makers and innovation leaders, share best practice, identify common barriers to growth and acceleration, and discuss potential solutions. We will also share a simple tool, based on the 6-stage framework from our recently published Hubs of Innovation Playbook, for you to assess what stage your innovation hub is at so that you can attend sessions with places in similar stages of growth.    

The Innovation Places Summit represents the first step in creating a national place-based innovation network. This will enable places to collaboration and share knowledge – vital for successful delivery of the Innovation Strategy. 

Why attend:

  • Learn how to navigate the challenges of setting up and scaling a hub of innovation
  • Hear best practice from leading innovation districts and consider how to apply this in local contexts
  • Build a network with places for future collaboration
  • Prepare for how best to develop a strong bid for forthcoming Innovation Deals
  • Identify specific tools and frameworks which can support hubs of innovation in different stages

Who should attend:

  • Place leaders – Local Authorities
  • Developers
  • Academics


  • 23rd Sept

An introduction to the day by Professor Greg Clark CBE and Emma Frost

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An opening keynote to set the stage on the UK’s innovation ambitions and the role of place-based innovation in delivering this.

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Panel discussion with senior leaders from across geographies and policy perspectives, on why hubs of innovation (districts, quarters, corridors, etc.) are crucial to deliver local economic and social outcomes.

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Panel discussion to understand how places across the country have successfully attracted FDI and grown their reputation for innovation. This session will also unpick what more the UK needs to do to become a magnet for FDI.

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Presnetation froom Prof Dr Philipp Boutellier, CEO Tegel Projekt GmbH

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Presentation from Sylvie Gallier Howard, Founder and CEO, Equitable Cities Consulting

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Watch Session A: Democratising Innovation

Watch Session B: Developing SME Support

Workshop 1 Session A: Democratising Innovation
A discussion to unpick how we democratise the process and the outputs of innovation. This will include topics like how we capture the social / civic value of innovation, how we open up innovation to a broader set of voices, and what kinds of tools (e.g. procurement, open IP, civic innovation challenges, skills development) are critical for this. This session will include audience Q&A.
Workshop 2 Session B: Developing SME Support
A discussion to identify how hubs of innovation can accelerate the growth of SMEs and what effective support of SMEs looks like, examined from the perspective of an SME, an investor, and an innovation hub. This session will include audience Q&A.

Presentation from Dr Sarah Hill, CEO, Western Sydney Parklands Association

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Watch Case Studies: Building Strong Foundations

Watch Case Studies: Maintaining Momentum and Impact

Workshop 1 Case Studies: Building Strong Foundations
A deep dive into how innovation hubs across and outside the UK developed, reviewing how they identified the enablers to build an innovation ecosystem, audited local strengths and assets, and launched a site. (with audience-interactive Q&A)
Workshop 2 Case Studies: Maintaining Momentum and Impact
A deep dive into the growth and sustained impact of innovation hubs across and outside the UK, charting their continual reinvention and impact on the local innovation ecosystem. (with audience-interactive Q&A)

Quick-fire videos from innovation leaders and place makers from global cities on a range of topics. We will hear from Tel Aviv, Mexico City and New York City.


Picture of Sir Howard Bernstein
Sir Howard Bernstein Former Chief Executive Manchester City Council

Sir Howard Bernstein is the former Chief Executive of Manchester City Council (1998-2017) and former Head of the Paid Service for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (2011-2017). Read more…

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Andrew Roughan Managing Director Plexal

As Plexal’s managing director, Andrew leads our innovation consultancy and is focused on convening communities to solve the challenges that matter most to society. Read more…

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Alexandra Jones Director of Science & R&D Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Alexandra is the Director of Science, Research and Innovation in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Read more…

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Clare Guinness Innovation District Director Innovation City Belfast

Clare Guinness is the Innovation District Director at Innovation City Belfast. Read more…

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Colin Sinclair Chief Executive Knowledge Quarter Liverpool

Colin is the CEO of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool. Read more…

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Dr Susie Mitchell Programme Director Glasgow City of Science and Innovation

Dr. Susie Mitchell is Programme Director for Glasgow City of Science and Innovation (GCOSI). Read more…

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Jodie Eastwood CEO London’s Knowledge Quarter

Jodie Eastwood is CEO of London’s Knowledge Quarter, a consortium of knowledge creators within a one mile radius of Kings Cross. Read more…

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Kate Josephs Chief Executive Sheffield City Council

Kate Josephs joined Sheffield City Council as Chief Executive in January 2021, having spent 20 years in national-government in the UK and United States. Read more…

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Elvira Uyarra Professor of Innovation Studies University of Manchester

Elvira Uyarra is Professor of Innovation Studies at Alliance Manchester Business School (University of Manchester) Read more…

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Kristen Shannon Founder and CEO Highliner Technology

Kristen Shannon is the Founder and CEO of Highliner Technology, a consultancy that supports startup and scale-up business. Read more…

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Prof. Greg Clark CBE Chair Connected Places Catapult

Greg is Global Head of Future Cities & New Industries at HSBC Group where he leads the bank’s work on cities and mobility with its global client base in 63 countries and 300 cities. Read more…

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Eve Roodhouse Chief Officer, Culture and Economy Leeds City Council

Eve leads on Culture and Economic Development at Leeds City Council. Read more…

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Dr Amy Hochadel Director of Global Business Connected Places Catapult

Dr Hochadel is an expert in global cities, and currently the Director of Global Business at Connected Places Catapult. Read more…

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Michael Guerin CEO & Founder Imvizar

Michael is Founder of Imvizar, a platform and mobile application for streaming AR experiences, with a particular focus on visitor attractions, towns and cities. Read more…

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Erika Lewis Director Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Erika is the current Director of Cyber Security and Digital Identity at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Read more…

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Nick Sturge MBE Non-Executive Director CFMS Limited

Nick is non-executive chair of Helastel Limited non-executive director at CFMS Limited and other current assignments include strategic adviser to Cheltenham Borough Council on the Cyber Central Innovation Zone and Campus development a,d policy adviser to the UK Science Park Association Read more…

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Malcolm Harbour CBE Associate Connected Places Catapult

Malcolm joined Connected Places Catapult as an Associate in April 2019 to catalyse efforts to dismantle ‘the procurement problem’ as a barrier to market growth. Read more…

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Lucy Yu CEO Octopus Energy’s Centre for Net Zero

Lucy Yu is CEO at Octopus Energy’s Centre for Net Zero, a world-leading open research lab developing data-driven modelling and simulation to provide decision makers with the timely, trusted and relevant insights needed to realise faster, fairer and more affordable paths to net zero globally.  Read more…

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Jenny Tooth OBE CEO UK Business Angels Association

Jenny is CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade body for angel and early-stage investing, representing over 18,000 investors around the UK.  Read more…

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Prof. Philipp Bouteiller CEO Tegal Projekt GmbH

Philipp Bouteiller has been managing director of Tegel Projekt GmbH since 2012 and is responsible for Europe’s largest development project around urban tech and smart cities. Read more…

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Prof. Raquel Ortega-Argiles Chair of Regional Economic Development University of Birmingham

Professor Raquel Ortega-Argiles holds the Chair of Regional Economic Development at City REDI Institute at the University of Birmingham. Read more…

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Steve Turner Director for Devolved Authorities Connected Places Catapult

Steve is Director for Devolved Authorities at the Connected Places Catapult. As a recognised leader in innovation and sustainability he has over 25 years of experience working in both the public and private sector. Read more…

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Sylvie Gallier Howard Founder & CEO Equitable Cities Consulting

Sylvie Gallier Howard is Founder & CEO of Equitable Cities Consulting, a practice focused on expanding the field and impact of inclusive, equitable economic development. Read more…

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Dr. Tim Moonen Co-Founder and Managing Director The Business of Cities

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Tor Instanes CEO GC Rieber Real Estate

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Michelle May Director of Inclusive Growth London Legacy Development Corporation

Michelle is the Director of Inclusive Growth, Education and Skills at the London Legacy Development Corporation and has been working on the Olympic Project since 2007 Read more…

Picture of Emma Frost
Emma Frost Chair UK Innovation Districts Group

Emma is a Chair of the UK Innovation Districts Group; a peer network of some of the leading innovation districts in the UK. Read more…

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Sam Markey Director of Public Affairs Connected Places Catapult

Sam Markey is Director of Strategy and Communications at the Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and placemaking. Read more…

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Claudette Forbes Consultant and Advisor The Whitehall & Industry Group

Claudette is a Consultant and Advisor on Area Regeneration & City Development at the Whitehall & Industry Group. Read more…

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Ben Brabyn Business Development Expert Fintech and Cybersecurity companies

Ben is a business development and ecosystem expert who works with UK and international companies in fintech and cybersecurity. Read more…

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Jane Dalton Director and Creative Catalyst Groundswell Innovation

Having attained a first-class MBA from Cambridge University, Jane has managed brand strategy and innovation projects for companies with global brand reach for the past 20 years. Read more…

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Dr. Sarah Hill Chief Executive Officer New South Wales

Dr. Sarah Hill is Chief Executive Officer at New South Wales. Read more…

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Melissa Mean Director We Can Make Community Land Trust

Melissa is Director of the We Can Make Community Land Trust. Read more…

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Dr Rohit T Aggarwala Jacobs Cornell Technion Institute

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Dr. Hila Oren CEO THE Tel Aviv Foundation

Established in 1977 the Tel Aviv Foundation focuses on raising the quality of life of each Tel Avivian through partnerships that enhance our city’s values of openness, innovation, inclusion, and opportunity. Read more…

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Gabriella Gómez-Mont Founder Laboratorio para la Ciudad

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Episode 30

Hubs of Innovation III: Local Authorities as Curators

Presented by Ivor Wells, Connected Places Catapult

This is the third episode in our Hubs of Innovation podcast series which began with two reports that the Catapult recently published, 1) Hubs of Innovation which looks at the role of innovation hubs in the COVID-adjusted economy, and 2) the accompanying Playbook for Place Leaders, a practical guide for how to establish or grow an innovation hub. In this episode we explore the role of local authorities curators in the innovation economy.

Listen now

Episode 22

Hubs of Innovation II: Servicing the new economy with Chris Oglesby

Presented by Ivor Wells, featuring Chris Oglesby

In this episode Prof. Greg Clark speaks to Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, a property company that employs over 800 people and owns over £1.4 billion of commercial assets and 100 properties across the city regions of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham and Cambridge. Bruntwood provides everything from coworking spaces and meeting rooms, through to serviced and managed offices for all sorts of innovation labs, hubs, and tech spaces.

Listen now


Why Innovation Districts Need to Continually Pivot

Why Innovation Districts Need to Continually Pivot

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Why the UK’s New Approach to Freeports will be Different

Why the UK’s New Approach to Freeports will be Different

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Innovation Hubs – A Platform to Accelerate the Levelling Up Agenda

Innovation Hubs – A Platform to Accelerate the Levelling Up Agenda

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