Launch of Innovate Cambridge organisation includes new city Charter

Cambridge Independent | By Mike Scialom

Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital and the University of Cambridge have jointly initiated ‘Innovate Cambridge’, an ambitious Greater Cambridge organisation that aims to collectively agree on and define an inclusive vision for the future of Cambridge and its innovation ecosystem to be implemented over the next decade.

On September 14, Innovate Cambridge’s founders were joined by more than 180 industry leaders, politicians, start-up founders, and members of the Cambridge technology community at the inaugural ‘Innovate Cambridge’ summit to launch the initiative and begin an ecosystem-wide conversation about the future of the Greater Cambridge region.

Following the event, attendees were asked to sign the Innovate Cambridge Charter, in which they pledged to come together to support, promote and enhance the Cambridge ecosystem, and to develop a set of ecosystem-wide initiatives to enable the delivery of the ‘Innovate Cambridge’ vision. Many individuals and businesses have already signed the charter, with more expected to sign soon.

Professor Andy Neely OBE, pro-vice-chancellor, University of Cambridge, said:

Today there is increasing international competition around the world to attract, nurture and successfully commercialise innovation, and over 100 cities across the world already have innovation strategies in place.Over the next decade, the world will also face many critical challenges including climate change, health, and digital transformation. ‘Innovate Cambridge’ aims to create a forward-looking vision and actionable plan to address those challenges and enable the city to compete effectively on the international stage.

Diarmuid O’Brien, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise, added:

The Innovate Cambridge initiative aims to ensure that we are positioned to compete internationally and to enhance the reputation of Cambridge as a location for both ground-breaking research and a place to start, grow and locate innovation businesses that will change the world.

Michael Anstey, partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), said:

We need to ensure Cambridge’s life sciences and technology sectors have the tools they need to continue to transform the UK and the world for the better. Standing still is not an option.

Professor Rachel Oliver, Department of Materials Science, director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride, CSO and co-founder, Porotech, and a speaker at the Innovate Cambridge Summit, said:

To continue as an internationally-leading innovation ecosystem, Cambridge needs to lead on Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). I was excited that this was an active topic of discussion at the launch summit.

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