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The rise of innovation districts globally

Innovation districts are emerging in multiple cities throughout the world from Boston to Berlin, Montreal to Melbourne. Successful innovation districts globally have high concentrations of workers in the knowledge economy and are drivers of new discoveries and patents. They have attracted further investment to their regions, provided homes for local entrepreneurs, facilitated connections to capital and customers and provided education and training opportunities for local students and senior leaders.

The co-location of these key stakeholders - large and small companies, universities, cultural institutions and local community organisations - drives innovation and transformation within the district. However it is not simply about co-location but about stimulating a dynamic interaction between communities, researchers, companies and investors, through organised programming and events and through designing public spaces to bring people together.

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  1. The evolution of innovation districts (2019), https://www.giid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/the-evolution-of-innovation-districts.pdf
  2. The rise of innovation districts, Brookings Institute (2014), https://www.brookings.edu/essay/rise-of-innovation-districts/
  3. 12 Principles guiding innovation districts, Brookings Institute (2017), https://www.brookings.edu/blog/metropolitan-revolution/2017/09/08/12-principles-guiding-innovation-districts-2/
  4. Kendall Square, Boston – https://kendallsquare.mit.edu/
  5. Cortex Innovation Community, St Louis – https://www.cortexstl.com/
  6. White City (Imperial College), London – https://www.imperial.ac.uk/white-city-campus/
  7. Here East, London - https://hereeast.com/