Innovating places

Climbing a mountain, travelling North or spending time near the sea we all become aware of differences in the climate. In some places configurations of landscape create specific micro-climates, which create conditions of warmth or shelter allowing plants and gardens to flourish. Recent research suggests that business innovation may work in a similar way, with… Read more

Innovate short, innovate long

The dire consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on many firms across the UK continue with depressing implications for employment and future prosperity. The government has invested heavily in supporting businesses through the furlough scheme, loan schemes and rate relief. The strengths and limitations of these measures have been widely covered in the media, but less… Read more

One size doesn’t fit all in terms of R&D and innovation

While some of us have been able to work at home during the Covid-19 crisis – and may have actually improved our productivity – this has not been the case for most of those involved in research and development (R&D). Lock-down has meant no access to laboratories or the specialist kit needed, so many R&D… Read more

Covid-19 and the implications for future innovation

Over the last few days we have seen some inspiring and innovative responses to the Corona Virus crisis by UK firms and universities. The JCB-Dyson collaboration to produce ventilators and the UCL-Mercedes AMG collaboration to develop other breathing aids are outstanding examples. Necessity is the mother of invention after all. But what of the wider… Read more

Let’s stop talking about ‘innovation’…

The term ‘innovation’ is widely used and abused. What do you imagine when you think of ‘innovation’? Something new? New technology? New drugs or the latest app? Any or all of these could be innovations each of which will have very different impacts on society and the firms and consumers they touch. A new edition… Read more

Local knowledge innovation, exporting and productivity


  • A fresh look at the role of local, regional and broader eco-system factors in supporting innovation and exporting, growth and productivity. What aspects of local business eco-systems are most influential in shaping the innovation and exporting activities of firms of different types? How do these interact with firms’ internal capabilities?
  • We will also consider the interaction between innovation and exporting and any feedback between the two influences building on Harris and Moffat (2011)? Methodological issues arise here, as in the competition and local growth project, relating to the definition of ‘local’ and also issues around causality.
  • The LEP outlook data provides a rich set of local eco-system indicators both for the most recent period and historically covering factors generally considered as productivity drivers (e.g. skills, R&D investment, capital investment) and some more novel factors such as local amenity and emissions. Use this data along with individual establishment level data from the UK innovation survey (which also covers exporting and productivity). Inter alia this will provide a test of the linkage between the LEP Outlook metrics and key performance indicators.

KeywordsInnovation, productivity, exporting
ThemeInnovation, productivity and performance
Project DirectorStephen Roper