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Innovation by adoption

This report measures the ability of UK nations and regions to absorb the external innovations and knowledge they need for innovation.

This report measures the ability of UK nations and regions to absorb the external innovations and knowledge they need for innovation.

Key findings:

  • The ability of areas to benefit from external knowledge can vary significantly depending on the number and quality of their universities and other knowledge assets.
  • Traditional innovation policy has ignored the importance of external knowledge in developing local innovation capacity.
  • The UK needs to boost the absorptive capacity of its nations, regions, and cities. 
  • Five out of twelve UK nations and regions are poor at spreading knowledge, only four are good at creating knowledge, and only four are good at exploiting it.
  • Recommendations include: making it easier for cities, regions and nations to access sources of new knowledge, ideas, and innovation, and doing more to draw on the knowledge of firms and universities making good use of knowledge developed outside the local area.

The ability to draw in new ideas from elsewhere and build on them at home is a more powerful stimulus than ever in today's economy.

 

More attention needs to be paid to how firms and universities acquire new ideas from other places.

 

International firms, migrants and students often have access to new knowledge from their home countries.

 

Greater effort could be paid to tapping that resource and to persuading both domestic and international students to stay in a city after they graduate from its university.

 

Authors:

Sami Mahroum, Rob Huggins, Naomi Clayton, Kathy Pain and Peter Taylor