Category Innovation

Smart Sustainable Districts – An EU initiative

Whilst the bruising battle between the Brexiteers and those wishing to remain in the EU fights itself out daily on our airways – the EU continues with much of its good work – largely unnoticed and  unheralded – certainly in the UK. Not many of you will have heard of the Climate KIC programme from […]

The Rise of Collaborative Working in Birmingham

This is a copy of a presentation I gave at the launch of a new co-working space – The Transfer – in Birmingham on March 5th. This is not definitive and I would welcome comments/additions etc. The Rise of Collaborative Working in Birmingham   More details on this authentic new space located in a community […]

Are Life Sciences a Goer for Greater Birmingham?

In the quiet of the early summer holidays the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBS-LEP) published with little hoohah the report of the Silk Commission on Greater Birmingham’s Life Sciences sector. This was a much needed independent look at the potential of growth in this sector in Greater Birmingham. Life Sciences have often been touted […]

Innovation Birmingham – An increasingly important asset for Birmingham’s Digital Sector

Innovation Birmingham – An increasingly important asset for Birmingham’s Digital Sector Birmingham launched its Smart City Road Map in 2014 and a key component in delivering its vision around growing the digital economy, is Innovation Birmingham. I talked to the CEO David Hardman recently to find out more. Innovation Birmingham is located in the emerging […]

Our Cities need our Universities

There was a welcome report last week from the City Growth Commission on the importance of Universities for the UK’s largest Metros and what Universities and Cities  could do to increase their importance and linkages to their local economies. The link to the  ‘UniverCities: The Knowledge to Power UK Metros report‘ is here. Let me say […]

Fascinating Event coming up: The Cross Innovation Conference October16th/17th

This event which has both great European speakers but also a hands on Blender event will look at how the Creative Industries can assist other sectors to Innovate. To book your place go to

Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone: An Innovative Financing Experiment

Over many years there has been much debate about greater freedoms and flexibilities around cities financing of major urban regeneration projects. This is a current debate with the work of the City Growth Commission in its recent publication ‘Connected Cities: The Link to Growth ‘ which calls for wide ranging empowerment of English cities. One of […]

Innovation Districts: A new concept with applicability to Birmingham

I went to a really interesting talk recently in London given by Bruce Katz  (@bruce_katz) from the Brookings Institute hosted by the Centre for London. He talked about his report ‘The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in the USA co written with Julie Wagner (@wagnerjk).   These Innovation Districts are urban centres where innovative […]

The Rise of Collaborative Workspace – in Birmingham

I just came across this video from Hub Westminster which really neatly describes the growth of co-working/co-enterprise spaces and what Hub Westminster entails.   Up until recently co-working had largely passed Birmingham by but now things are stirring in the forest and I think it is worth noting the rapid progress that is being made. […]

Smart Specialisation in England; is this really LEPland?

As many of you may be aware ‘England’ is drawing up a smart specialisation strategy (S3) to fulfill the ex ante conditionality required for an England ERDF Operational programme. i.e. it is developing a national strategy to focus innovation investment under the ERDF programme as it has to under ERDF regulations. This is a tall […]



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