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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

An ambitious new strategy to nurture and grow its innovation ecosystem has been unveiled at Cambridge summit.

The Innovate Cambridge Summit saw over 400 leaders from across the civic, business and academic working communities to support the science and technology cluster to maintain its position as a world leader amid fierce international competition.

Cambridge has evolved into a global innovation hub over the last 30 years, with over 5,500 knowledge-intensive businesses generating revenues exceeding £20bn annually and 23 billion-dollar unicorn companies born in the city. The University of Cambridge is also the number one university in the world for producing successful tech founders, ahead of Harvard and MIT, with over 500 alumni founders raising more than $10 million in funding.

In pursuit of this vision, Innovate Cambridge has identified three strategic goals:

  • An innovation ecosystem firing on all cylinders. Innovate Cambridge envisions improved health and social care, optimised energy use, and enhanced agricultural outcomes through world-leading life sciences research and AI applications. The focus will be on creating a green growth strategy, fostering economic growth, and supporting social infrastructure.
  • Ensuring the innovation ecosystem provides value and impact for the local community. Innovate Cambridge aims to increase collaboration within and beyond the region, formalising partnerships with other innovation hubs and economic centres. The initiative strives to deliver high-quality employment and training opportunities while ensuring benefits extend beyond geographical limits.
  • Forming partnerships with other regions and collaborators to drive scale and deliver social and economic benefits. By 2035, Innovate Cambridge aims to achieve significant economic, social, and environmental impact through collaborations and partnerships. Practical infrastructure issues, such as water scarcity and transportation, are addressed in conjunction with local government and Cambridge Ahead.

"Innovation is critical to local, national and global prosperity and central to the UK's economic success. Cambridge is the UK's leading research-based innovation ecosystem. A recent analysis found that spinouts and start-ups associated with the University contributed over £18bn to the UK economy and there are many other companies within the Cambridge ecosystem without a direct connection to the University that make a further significant contribution." Professor Andy Neely OBE, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge