Connected Places Podcast Episode 35: Innovation Places Summit

The innovation economy has become one of the defining features of the economic cycle, especially the role of innovation in the post-pandemic recovery and the wider ‘levelling up’ agenda. Yet there are stark differences between the innovation activity in different parts of the UK, and there is renewed focus on enabling the innovation economy to flourish right across the country.

On 23 September the Catapult hosted the UK’s first Innovation Places Summit which brought together place leaders, businesses, researchers, policy makers and innovators from across Britain and around the world. The summit was the first of its kind and it explored some of the key questions facing business and place leaders in the innovation economy; how can innovation locations help to leverage foreign direct investment; how can we democratise innovation; how can we support SMEs; and how do existing hubs build on strong foundations and maintain momentum over time?

This episode is a whistle-stop world tour of some of the places of innovation from across the UK and around the globe that we heard from at the summit; from New York to Sydney, from Tel Aviv to Mexico City, we explore what it takes for a place to become a hotbed of innovation.

Our Hubs of Innovation podcast series comes out of 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. Both reports are free to download on our website.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

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Show notes

On Monday 5th October we’ll be running an event looking at how innovation procurement can drive new local transport services. Click here to register.

On Thursday 7th October is our Transport Innovation Expo where we’ll be celebrating early stage innovation in the transport sector. Click here to register.

Then on Thursday 21st October the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission will present its findings on the up-front investment needed to address the Net Zero pledges in London and across the UK’s Core Cities. Click here to register.

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