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South East Midlands unveiled as top for business innovation

31 May 2015

Leading national research has unveiled the South East Midlands as third in the UK for business innovation, runner up only to Oxford and Cambridge.

In the Benchmarking Local Innovation report, published this month by The Enterprise Research Centre, an independent centre which focusses on SME growth and productivity, the South East Midlands was recognised as leading in the UK for its ‘geography of innovation’ and crowned third out of 39 Local Enterprise Partnership areas.

The report’s findings are based on a new analysis of data from the 14,000 firms which responded to the UK Innovation Survey 2013, with firms analysed using the following six benchmarks:

  • Firms engaged in product or service innovation
  • Firms engaged in new to the market innovation
  • Firms engaged in process innovation
  • Firms engaged in strategic or marketing innovation
  • Firms engaged in R&D
  • Firms that were collaborating as part of their innovation activity

The report concluded: “Innovation is important as it both contributes to productivity and provides the basis for business growth through the development of new export market opportunities. Research has also linked innovation positively to resilience: innovating firms are more likely to be able to adjust when market conditions become more challenging.”

Daniel Mouawad, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said: “Innovation is at the very heart of the South East Midlands and we are rightly proud of our resident businesses which show real resilience and a determination to thrive.”

The South East Midlands is home to 36 Innovation Centres and Science Parks, an unrivalled resource for companies wanting to invest and grow in our area.

In addition the South East Midlands has seven resident universities and their associated business schools. Cranfield University was crowned "the UKs most business-engaged university” at this year’s National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) event.

This recognition for Cranfield follows the recent launch of Universities Mean Business, a South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) prospectus which illustrates how key our universities and business schools are to the UK’s economic wellbeing.

Other South East Midlands highlights from the Benchmarking Local Innovation report:

  • The South East Midlands was ranked third for its product and service innovation (25%). Oxfordshire LEP ranked 27%, with Gloucestershire 26%.
  • The South East Midlands ranked joint fourth for its process innovation, ranking 14%
  • The South East Midlands was unveiled as joint second for its strategic and marketing innovation (31% compared to Greater Cambridge & Peterborough which ranked a winning 32%).

Download the full Benchmarking Local Innovation report HERE.

Find out more about SEMLEP’s Innovation Centres & Science Parks HERE.

Download and read our Universities Mean Business prospectus here.


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