UK Innovation Districts Group

Driving productivity and prosperity through place-based innovation to accelerate inclusive urban growth.

Emergence of innovation districts over the last decade has brought together entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and investors to collaborate and generate new ideas, products and services in close proximity with one another. 

As cities invest in urban renewal and economic development, establishing innovation districts can help to increase opportunities around innovation and technology. 

These innovation districts are generally made up of a combination of academic and research institutions, start-up incubators and accelerators, co-working spaces, housing, retail and cultural amenities. They bring people together from diverse disciplines, backgrounds and industries which have been seen to spark innovation, promote growth and create vibrant, liveable communities in a dense, mixed-use environment.

Driving inclusive urban growth 

Connected Places Catapult formed a partnership with the UK Innovation Districts Group (UK IDG) in 2021 as part of its mission to support place leaders and promote collaboration as well as drive growth, share best practice and accelerate innovation throughout the country.  

The UK IDG brings together 12 urban, walkable innovation districts and knowledge quarters to lead on place-based innovation to drive inclusive urban growth. 

Connected Places Catapult is committed to supporting the UK IDG and its members to enable the delivery of, and maximise benefits from, innovation districts and knowledge quarters. These new forms of urban geography do and will play a vital part in growing the UK economy while also ensuring inclusive place-based innovation can thrive. 

Membership of the UK IDG:

Fostering collaboration 

Creating partnerships to bridge the gap between buyers, supplier, innovation and industry while helping places leaders and their partners to implement new solutions is essential to our Place Leadership agenda. By supporting the UK IDG and its members, Connected Places Catapult furthers that commitment and continues to enable UK-wide clean, innovation-led levelling up.  

The UK IDG is just one of the Communities of Practice that Connected Places Catapult supports. Find out more about others: Joining the Dots, Inclusive Innovation Network and the Freeport Innovation Network. 

Contact the project team 

For more information on this project, contact: 

Philly Strahan – UK Innovations District Group Manager – 


Further reading

In 2022, the UK IDG, supported by Connected Places Catapult, published ‘Opening the Innovation Economy: The case for Inclusive Innovation in the UK’. In this report, the emerging theme of inclusive innovation was explored, as well as the steps needed to enable as many people as possible to contribute to, participate in and benefit from the UK’s innovation economy.