Council to develop city centre Innovation District

Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today (16 February) approved a proposal to support the development of an Innovation District in the city centre.

Two innovation districts have been identified in Glasgow – in the Merchant City and the West End, anchored around the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow – as these areas are judged to have the characteristics that could bring sustainable economic development in key sectors.

It is expected these districts will provide a strong foundation for the creation and expansion of firms and jobs by helping companies, entrepreneurs, universities, researchers and investors – across sectors and disciplines – co-invent and co-produce new discoveries for the market.

Funding of £129 million from the Glasgow City Region City Deal will support the creation of an innovation district in the West End and Waterfront, as well as supporting the Imaging Centre of Excellence at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The proposed Innovation District in the Merchant City would be based on a number of key aims:

  • To showcase Glasgow as a location for, and generator of, innovation
  • To accelerate innovation and investment in Glasgow-based companies
  • To make innovation visible to companies, citizens and students
  • To contribute to the regeneration of the area and local community
  • To provide access to a platform of industrial informatics and enabling technologies (communications technologies, sensors, data platforms etc.)
  • To create an urban district where companies can accelerate innovation, product/service development and economic impact
  • To attract innovative companies of all sizes to Glasgow because the Innovation District is able to offer a unique set of research advantages.

The Merchant City location for this district – whose boundaries are still to be absolutely defined – is seen as attractive given the proximity of a leading international technological university; the Tontine Innovation Growth Hub; the Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC); the Fraunhofer Institute; the Centre of Excellence for Sensor and Imaging Systems; the Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystalisation; the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre; the Offshore Renewable Energy Centre and the Digital Health Institute.

The district’s assets now offer the opportunity to expand and develop expansion space for private sector companies in key industries. Discussions have taken place between Glasgow City Council, the University of Strathclyde and Scottish Enterprise about the requirement for enabling infrastructure to support the district, including new office space, fibre infrastructure and public realm improvements.


Glasgow City Council is involved in ongoing discussions with both the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde on the development of these innovation districts.

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