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Science & Technology Series: Announcements

City selected to contribute to landmark Government Science and Innovation Audit

The group will explore the impact of the capital’s Knowledge Quarter on the UK

by Sophie Cubbin (Head of Communications and Events)

City, University of London has been selected as part of a consortium who will lead a Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) for an area of London known as the Knowledge Quarter.

Business Secretary Greg Clark and Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson instigated the audit to investigate the extent and ability of the zone to deliver major economic benefits for the wider UK.

The Knowledge Quarter, which encompasses Bloomsbury, Euston and Kings Cross, is home to 18 higher education institutions and over 600 research groups, centres and institutes, including the University of London.

World-renowned companies such as Google, the Wellcome Trust and Springer Nature have established UK bases in the area. It has attracted international attention in recent years due to the arrival of the Alan Turing Institute, the Francis Crick Institute and Central Saint Martins.

The next five years will see continued growth for the area with the construction of corporate headquarters for Universal Music, McKinsey & Company, and Google, as well as an extension for the British Library and the national Dementia Institute at UCL.

The Science and Innovation Audit

The audit will focus on five ‘smart specialisms’ including emerging Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Resistance; Musculoskeletal Pathology Associated with Ageing; Dementias; Digital Archiving, Curation and Publishing; and Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence.

In addition, the audit will map the area’s global competitive advantages and build on identified areas of research innovation and scientific strength which will increase UK productivity, create jobs, and drive economic growth.

Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said:

Now in its third wave, the Science and Innovation Audits are providing valuable insight into the ground-breaking work taking place across the UK and the contributions we are making to solve challenges across the world.

The work of the successful regions undertaking their SIA in this wave will support the development and delivery of our Industrial Strategy and allow local places to build on their strengths. This will ensure that the UK remains competitive in the global market and is best placed to continue leading scientific discoveries and taking them to market.

Dr Natalie Cozier, Head of Knowledge Transfer at City said:

“This announcement galvanises my optimism about the future of the Knowledge Quarter. With a focus on business and the professions and a central London location, I believe City will make a strong contribution to the KQ SIA Steering Group and KQ Alliance”.

Professor Andrew Jones, Vice-President (Research & Enterprise), at City said:

“We have an exceptional collection of science and innovation assets and our strategy is focused on greatly enhancing their potential. The establishment of the KQ SIA will enable us to demonstrate how our work in artificial intelligence, data science and in the creative industries can impact even more sectors.”

The consortium leading the audit with City also includes the British Library, Camden Council, the Knowledge Quarter, the Royal Veterinary College and UCL.

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