Place Projects

Place Projects


Place, productivity and growth – At the National Centre for Universities and Business we focus on how collaboration and partnership can support the needs of different places.

We work with national drivers behind the devolution agenda, looking at the different ways localities are choosing to inhabit it, and how that agenda is shaped moving forwards.

Ecosystem Builders

One narrative about the role of universities in place focusses on entrepreneurship. Universities shape places through the creation of new knowledge and technology rich companies and entrepreneurs. This is sometimes described as the “entrepreneurial ecosystem” and features in discussion in, for example, the origin of Silicon Valley.

Research England, UKRI, has convened a steering group to describe the London ecosystem. This includes the features of London universities and of London as a place that shape it as a hotspot of entrepreneurship. The steering group comprises representatives from London universities and key enterprise bodies, including NCUB. Find out more.


Past projects:

Humber and Industrial Strategy

In June 2019, via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), NCUB provided support to the Humber LEP in two areas related to the production of their Local Industrial Strategy (LIS): a synthesis of the documents and studies that made up their LIS evidence base for their LIS and the development of the Ideas foundation for the LIS. The work proceeded for the next five months, via correspondence with BEIS and the Humber LEP, through a number of iterations related to style, content and newly completed material.

Smart Specialisation Hub

The National Centre co-delivered the Smart Specialisation Hub, England’s platform for place-based innovation intelligence and analysis. Funded by and working with Government, the Hub provided data, best practice advice and insight to local actors across the country, and triangulates national policy inputs with local and regional innovation strategies. The Hub also worked to embed the nation’s world-leading research specialisms into local growth projects and priorities.

UK Fuse

UK Fuse is a programme to develop the country's creative and digital economy. 'Fuse' refers to the potential of creative and digital business to ignite British economic growth. 'Fusion' takes places when creative inspiration is integrated with digital and IT skills to produce 'fused' businesses.

View the Fuse projects:


To learn more about the benefits of being part of the NCUB network, browse our Membership pages or contact our Membership Team.

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