New Innovation Index shows Edinburgh is most active UK city for innovation outside London

A new UK Tech Innovation Index published today by the Open Data Institute and the Digital Catapult shows the most active innovation communities in the UK by industry sector.

It shows that Edinburgh has the most active tech innovation community outside of London, closely followed by Glasgow in fourth place.

Of the 36 UK cities included in the Index, the top four cities ranked are London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow. Aberdeen features in 20th place, with Dundee following in 22nd place.

The research was undertaken as a first step to gain a clearer picture of the UK innovation landscape, to help inform business and public sector decision-making around investment and growth.

Data on tech events, conferences and meetups from a range of sources have been brought together with data such as academic publications, local skills measures, business start-up rates, and research and development spending. Together these shed new light on where British innovation is flourishing. The rankings show how active the innovation community is in 36 of the largest UK cities, across seven key industrial sectors:

In many places, innovation is aligned with local industries. For example, Aberdeen, with its strong offshore engineering industries, and Birmingham and Coventry with their strong car industries, are today very strong in manufacturing innovation.

Smaller cities often have a few areas of particular strength, such as Internet of Things in Reading, and Manufacturing in Aberdeen and Coventry.

David Smith, Sector Director of Digital and Engineering at Scottish Enterprise, commented:

“I’m pleased but not surprised to see both Edinburgh and Glasgow in the top four UK locations for innovative technologies.

“Scotland already has around 150 data innovation and exploitation companies with a combined turnover of £1 billion. We also have world-class academic excellence and data assets such as Edinburgh University’s School of Informatics, a collaborative culture between industry, public sector and academia to breed further innovation which includes DataLab – our dedicated data innovation centre – and a growing number of investors choosing Scotland as a location for their data-driven businesses.

“Substantial new investment is planned, particularly in data and artificial intelligence capabilities, which will accelerate growth in innovative technologies. Scotland is well placed to secure its position as the data innovation capital of Europe within the next few years.”