Is often why pioneering place leaders are missing out on creative and innovative opportunities to help solve their pressing service and policy challenges
Sam Markey
Ecosystem director

About Hubs of innovation

The towns and cities with the highest productivity and growth tend to have harnessed innovative products and services, creating the right conditions for success. As global strategist Parag Khanna puts it, “Connectivity is destiny”. A place cannot change its location, but investing in its connectedness – whether physical, digital or social connectivity – can create new opportunities.

The development and implementation of connected places innovations that deliver greater mobility, access, optimise land use, improve decision making, foster new public spaces and points of human interaction are therefore integral to both the revival of regional economies and the sustained success of the UK’s existing engines of innovation.

“Connectivity is destiny. A place cannot change where it is located, but by investment in its connectedness it can create new opportunities.” – Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna

Connected Places Catapult has worked with a range of public and private sector place leaders to seed and stimulate local hubs of innovation both in the UK and globally.

From the Belfast City Region to Sharjah in the UAE, we have experience partnering with places to help unlock new economic potential through the adoption of new technologies and innovative approaches. We help seed and scale new and existing hubs of innovation by mobilising local and regional ecosystems around a shared plan and attracting investment.

Building on that experience, we have generated a range of new analysis and guidance to help more places spark new hubs of innovation activity or amplify the impact of existing ones.

Initiatives for 2023


Joining the Dots brings city leaders together to build connections around the shared challenges and opportunities and areas of economic strength for businesses in their respective regions by creating a safe space for confidential discussions
Initiatives for 2023


The Innovation district group enables the delivery of, and maximise the benefits from, innovation districts and knowledge quarters. These new forms of urban geography are places where different sectors and uses intersect to drive innovation and inclusive growth.
Initiatives for 2023


The Freeport Innovation Network (FIN) is a collaboration vehicle for Freeports to shape and orchestrate their innovation activity as a collective.
Initiatives for 2023


The Inclusive Innovation Network aims to deliver faster growth and more equitable prosperity by challenging the industry to champion inclusivity as much as it drives innovation.

What’s happening now?

Live Projects

The latest in Innovation Places

‘Changing lives through research delivery’ is the winner’s aim from the Inclusive Innovation category at the Northern Power Women Awards, supported by Connected Places Catapult. Here, Sarah Fallon and Joanne Henry from the National Institute for Health and Care Research, Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester explain what they do, and reflect on what they have achieved.
Ask any Londoner what the city’s greatest challenge is and they’ll probably mention the housing crisis – or, more specifically, the affordable housing crisis.