The study brings together 11 discrete data sources under four over-arching pillars – Innovative People, R&D and Technology, Innovative Outputs, and Ideas & Inventions – to give the broadest possible perspective on innovation across the UK, and to illustrate the extent to which towns and cities outside London are shaping the thriving “innovation economy”.
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire ranks first in the UK Local Innovation Index (tied with Inner London), coming top in three of the four pillars, followed by East Anglia and Surrey, East and West Sussex.
Separately, the study identifies the strongest emerging ‘innovation ecosystems’ based on seven key innovation ingredients: Connectivity, talent density, living costs, culture & community, universities, government investment and transport mobility. It reveals that some areas currently registering a mid-score on the innovation index score highly on the facilitating factors, highlighting these areas as emerging innovation hotspots and potential powerhouses of the future.
After London, Greater Manchester tops the UK with the best combination of ingredients for a thriving innovation ecosystem, followed by Merseyside and the West Midlands (Greater Birmingham). The findings also point to West Yorkshire and Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, currently mid-table on the Innovation Index, which have potential to become innovation hubs of tomorrow.
Key additional findings from the UK Local Innovation Index:
• Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire set to rival rivals inner London for the UK’s most innovative workforce.
R&D and Technology
• Cheshire is first in class ahead of London for R&D and Technology.
• Inner London ranks seventh for R&D and Technology, despite hosting world-renowned university and research departments.
• “Golden triangle” of universities leads innovation in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and East Anglia.
• Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire come up top for most innovative products and services.
• Surrey, East & West Sussex come in at second place for most innovative products and services.
Ideas and Inventions
• Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are the new hot beds for today’s inventions.
• North-East Scotland is the second most inventive area in the UK making it a hub for inventions and ideas.