In March 2020, MIT REAP launched the pilot of its new Focus program in the UK. Gathering six teams from across the target region, the program drove the creation and execution of actionable MIT REAP strategies to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship. The MIT REAP Focus UK program concluded on February 4, 2021, but many regional initiatives remain ongoing.
Focus UK leveraged learnings from the MIT REAP Core Cohort 6 team, Leeds City, UK – graduated in October 2020 – to expedite productivity, employment, and returns from research in six additional UK communities. Originally conceived as an intense six-month long program, Focus UK expanded its engagement to accommodate new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic through March 2021. Focus UK was supported by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and by Loughborough University.
Focus UK teams represented entrepreneurs, risk capital providers, corporates, academia, and governments in an evidence-based approach to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in each team’s community. Focus UK harnessed the frameworks founded and established through the MIT REAP Global program, established in 2012, and translated them more deeply into the regional context with a cohort composed of entirely UK-based teams.
Focus UK drew from MIT REAP’s experience with over 50+ regions from around, including UK-based teams from London, Scotland, Wales and Leeds City, UK. In collaboration with the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Loughborough University, Focus UK deepened collective efforts and community of practice of entrepreneurship and innovation by engaging key communities across the UK. The benefit of MIT’s theoretical and practice-based expertise and regional leadership, focused on this new initiative to support productivity growth, remains a defining factor in the delivery of the UK’s local Industrial Strategies.