Research Commission on Inclusive Innovation launched at inaugural Innovation Places Summit

Pioneering new research to build on momentum surrounding place-based innovation across the UK

Connected Places Catapult and the UK Innovation Districts Group today announced the launch of a new Research Commission on Inclusive Innovation. The Research Commission, which will report its findings in spring 2022, will get under the bonnet of the terms and business cases surrounding inclusive innovation as well as identify best practice from places of innovation across the UK. It will examine case studies on how to create innovation processes and structures that connect and serve local communities and generate positive outcomes for a range of groups. Places across the UK will be consulted with as part of the research and the Commission will be overseen by a range of key experts from across industries and UK geographies.

This Commission follows the launch of the UK Innovation Strategy in July 2021, which recognised the critical role that place-based innovation will play in achieving the UK’s national innovation ambitions.

Emma Frost, Chair of the UK Innovation Districts Group, said: “Place leaders across the UK want to understand how their innovation hubs can engage and support the whole community. At the same time, we know that the outputs of innovation are richer when they are influenced by a broader range of views. This Research Commission will advance our understanding of inclusive innovation and give places the framework they need to put these ambitions into action.”

Nicola Yates OBE, Chief Executive of Connected Places Catapult, said: “Further building on the UK Innovation Strategy, this Commission will provide valuable insights for building more inclusive-based innovation, contributing towards Levelling Up practically.”

The Research Commission was announced by Professor Greg Clark CBE, Chair of Connected Places Catapult, as part of the first annual Innovation Places Summit hosted by Connected Places Catapult. The virtual event welcomed 25+ speakers from a range of disciplines, including leaders of UK and international innovation districts, local council chief executives, leading academics and innovation practitioners, and CEOs of UK-based companies, to discuss a range of topics linked to place-based innovation. The Summit built on previous work, including the Hubs of Innovation Report and Playbook for Place Leaders, which have provided valuable insight for place leaders looking to build and scale hubs of innovation.

Notes for editors

The Research Commission is being funded by Connected Places Catapult and overseen by a steering group convened by the UK Innovation Districts Group.

Connected Places Catapult and the UK IDG agreed a strategic partnership in spring 2021 to further common aims regarding the UK place-based innovation agenda.

Connected Places Catapult is the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport, and places.

The UK Innovation Districts Group (UK IDG) is a peer network of nine of the leading innovation districts in the UK. It seeks to amplify the experience and expertise of practitioners and delivery partners on the ground in innovation districts across the UK; to create a united voice into Government and policymakers; and to bridge academic research, think tanks and policy by connecting with practitioners, investors, businesses and innovators.