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Innovate to Grow

South Gloucestershire Council’s ‘Innovate to Grow’ campaign focuses on encouraging SMEs to develop new ideas and deliver creative solutions that may have the potential to benefit South Gloucestershire’s economy, both creating sustainable jobs and generating local wealth. In some cases these could have a global impact too. Our plan comprises:

Engaging SMEs to Collaborate on Innovation Projects

Working closely with high-growth potential, scale-up SMEs and entrepreneurs, we encourage and facilitate collaboration between small and large businesses, the University of the West of England (UWE) and public sector partners, to help develop the innovation eco-system in South Gloucestershire. This has already led to a number of Innovate UK funded connected and autonomous vehicle R&D projects in partnership with academia, large industry and SMEs. As a partner in these projects, the council is a facilitator and broker between stakeholders within the area, acting as a hub for the exchange of ideas and opportunities. The council’s emerging R&D test network is further designed to enhance the research capability on offer in the region by better connecting Bristol and Bath Science Park (BBSP) with UWE. The latter geographically aligns with and reflects our Innovation Corridor comprising a mixture of hi-tech, scientific and industrial innovators represented by commercial and academic entities. This corridor however, also extends via Filton to Aztec West.

Facilitating Collaboration with Science Park Tenants

The council co-purchased BBSP with the University of Bath in summer 2018. Working closely with SME tenants based there, the council is supporting a series of structured interventions to allow tenants to further access local and regional innovation support. BBSP also work closely with innovation hubs such as the Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems and the National Composites Centre (co-located at the Science Park). The council actively facilitates interaction and dialogue between BBSP and UWE Enterprise Zone: Future Space, Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) and Health Tech Hub. As a result of these relationships, South Gloucestershire is recognised as a global hotbed for innovation and creativity. The council (along with Invest Bristol Bath) part-fund the WoE Robotics Network, which is operated by BRL.

Creative Collisions at Bristol and Bath Science Park

The Science Park first used the term Creative Collisions in its original brochure in 2011 in reference to bringing clusters from different spheres of industry together and this narrative has now been incorporated by the West of England Combined Authority in the Local Industrial Strategy. The Science Park is very much integral to the innovation competency in the region and as such, this recognition is reflected within the imminent plans for building new hybrid work space on site in order to accommodate prospective tenants as well as those on site who wish to grow and remain part of the existing ecosystem.

Innovation Landscape supporting Inward Investment

The council considers itself ‘Open for Innovation’ and our Innovate To Grow campaign ensures this opportunity is shared across the local economy to generate creative collisions. As such, we’re also integrated with the wider regional technology and innovation ecosystem. If you are looking to expand your business (and/or searching for commercial property to occupy), visit our Invest + Locate Page. To find out more about how we can maximise the innovation capabilities of your business, please contact: abdul.choudhury@southglos.gov.uk, Principal Economic Development Officer and Innovate to Grow Campaign Lead.

Innovate to Grow


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