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Clare Burnett

Member Article

West Yorkshire has ‘best location’ for startups and ‘enormous potential’ as innovation hub

According to a new UK Innovation Index, West Yorkshire which is currently mid-table on the Index, has “enormous potential” as innovation hubs of tomorrow and also houses the best location in the region for startups.

Leeds is best city in Yorkshire for start-up firms, with close links to Manchester and Sheffield, the ports of Hull and Humber and home to the Leeds Bradford International Airport.

Leeds also has eleven universities on its doorstep resulting in strong collaboration between academics and businesses, as well as an inward investment service for Leeds City Region, which according to the report is set to be a powerful business hub in the future.

Johnston Press has worked with leading independent economics consultancy CEBR to create a nationwide Local Innovation Index measuring innovation in the towns and cities of the UK.

The study, published today, brings together 11 discrete data sources under the categories Innovative People, R&D and Technology,Innovative Outputs, and Ideas & Inventions – to show the extent to which towns and cities outside London are shaping the thriving “innovation economy.”

West Yorkshire scored well on innovation facilitators relative to its ranking on the innovation index (21st out of 37 areas) and the index found that West Yorkshire was the best in region for “knowledge-intensive employment.”

However the report found that the area as a whole currently falls short in terms of transport mobility but an improvement in rail connections between cities within and outside the region would help to attract more investment and facilitate more innovative activity the region.

North Yorkshire best for R&D personnel employment in Yorkshire.

Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham is the top location for start-ups in South Yorkshire.

Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press said: “This landmark research by Cebr…identifies thousands of amazing, ground-breaking businesses – from start-ups through to major corporations – in every corner of the UK.”

“Too often, innovation is defined in very narrow terms. What the inaugural UK Local Innovation Index shows is how companies are harnessing the power of technology in new and ever-more productive ways.

“And their dynamism is setting the tone for our national economic recovery, making a huge contribution to the future prosperity of the UK.”

Colm Sheehy, senior economist, Cebr, said: “This is the first time that a study of local innovation has been undertaken in the UK. Our aim has been to capture innovative activity across the UK in a more holistic way than has been the case for national level indices of innovation.

“Our UK Local Innovation Index encompasses the marketing, networking and organisational innovations that occur across all industries. The research has revealed innovation that’s not limited by geography.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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