Milton Keynes third most innovative area in the UK, says new research

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Milton Keynes is at the heart of UK innovation, according to new research released today.

The study, benchmarking the innovation geography of the UK, has been produced by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), which studies the UK’s drivers behind business growth and success.

It lists Milton Keynes as the third most innovative area in the UK in a league table ranking areas across the UK producing the highest proportion of cutting-edge goods and services - way above London and Manchester.

Professor Stephen Roper, who led the ERC research, said firms’ ability to innovate played an important role in sustaining growth and competitiveness, with economic implications for whole regions.

He said: “For the first time, this research gives us a picture of which localities of the UK have the highest proportion of firms introducing new products and services.

“The findings run counter to the dominant narrative of a country dependent on London, with innovation being much more dispersed across the country than was previously thought.

“Innovation is strongly linked to growth, exporting and productivity - all areas in which the UK economy needs to improve if we want to boost our international competitiveness.

“The significant variation between different parts of the UK suggests that some localities are succeeding in creating a more innovation-friendly environment than others.

“Policymakers and researchers need to examine the local factors that could be contributing to this so that we can create the conditions for firms to become more innovative – creating jobs and growth - in every corner of the UK.”

Liverpool has a higher proportion of firms creating new cutting-edge goods and services than London, according to a new study which turns received wisdom about the UK’s ‘geography of innovation’ on its head.

The research shows the UK has a clear ‘arc of innovation’ stretching from Cambridge through the South-East Midlands and along the M4 corridor to take in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

More surprising beacons of innovation elsewhere include the Tees Valley and Dorset.

London, meanwhile, is way down the list, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland show below-average levels of innovation.
See the full report, here.