Dr. Martin StowChampion
Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise, University of Leeds
Leeds City, and its wider region, is one of the most economically prosperous areas outside of London and the South East in the United Kingdom. It is well suited to collaborate with other cities in Northern England, and develop productive business networks and labor markets.
REAP Team Leeds City has stakeholders from the University of Leeds, KPMG, Arup, the Nexus Innovation Center, and the Leeds Academic Health Partnership. They are excited to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems in Leeds City that will have both local and national impacts.
Innovation is thriving in Leeds, from the grassroots community led organisations like Leeds Digital Festival – the largest tech festival in the UK, to world leading R&D, health innovators and tech unicorns. Companies are starting up here every day and choosing Leeds as their home and we are committed to supporting our diverse and talented entrepreneurs. We’ve seen some incredible progress since MIT REAP, including:
• Infrastructure like Nexus at the University of Leeds continuing to build a vibrant community of innovation driven entrepreneurs, with plans to expand this further across a second site.
• The creation a new Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Enterprise at the University of Leeds demonstrating the ongoing commitment of regional anchor institutions to embed enterprise into organisational strategy.
• FinTech North, LegalTech in Leeds and AI Tech North which are each creating spaces where corporates, entrepreneurs, universities and the public sector are actively collaborating.
• Successful accelerator programmes including the Yorkshire Academic Health Science Network’s Y&H Propel Programme and Bruntwood’s female founders’ programme, and the upcoming Innovative Entrepreneurs Programme.
• Increased investment in our companies, from start-ups to scale-ups and acquisitions. North Invest, the Angel Investment network founded by Adam Beaumont has played a key role in early-stage investment with its initiatives including Fund Her North.
In the next five-ten years we want to accelerate our progress investing further in our innovation ecosystem to drive productivity, create good jobs and drive progress towards a healthier, greener and inclusive future.
This includes our ambitions for an ‘Innovation Arc’ – a city centre science park of sorts – stretching from the station, through the West End to the new ‘Innovation village’ on the Leeds General Infirmary Site through to the Universities. The ‘Arc’ will be formed by a series of innovation neighbourhoods, formed around the natural anchors of our main universities, the proposed adult and children’s hospitals, and major private sector partners delivering around 100,000m2 of innovation space to support start-ups, growing enterprises and major occupiers, together with shared spaces where people can meet and share ideas. There will be over 3,000
new homes in and around the study area and the potential for up to 220,000m2 of public realm improvements as well as the potential for two new city parks creating 4 Ha of new, meaningful green space.
We are also investing in infrastructure outside the city centre including the White Rose Innovation Hub in South Leeds, soon to be only a 4 minute train journey from Leeds City Centre. – Opening in 2024 the Hub will be a new, purpose-designed facility with work, event, meeting and collaboration space and will be home to the Ingenuity Smart City programme. Ingenuity aims to meet the needs of smart cities challenge holders and solution providers. In doing so, it will harness latent opportunities and address challenges through inward investment, creation of new enterprises, innovative technology testing, collaboration and co-working spaces, and engagement, skills and employment opportunities for local people. The Hub and Ingenuity programme will support the city’s ambition to become a world-leading, innovative connected place that delivers 21st century smart services to people, communities and business.
Population of Leeds City Region: 3 million
Population of Leeds City: 775,000
Number of Businesses: 120,000
Number of Jobs: 1.45 million
Top Industries: Healthcare technologies, data, digital, finance.
Ability to develop new to the world innovations from inception through to the market.EXPAND ALL
The Leeds City region has a population of approximately 3 million, with 775,000 living in Leeds City.
Leeds City generates 5% of the United Kingdom’s outputs.
Leeds City has approximately 120,000 businesses and about 1.45 million jobs.
Ability to start and build new to the world businesses from inception to maturity.EXPAND ALL