Imperial: White City Innovation District to drive transformative growth

24 Mar 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Imperial College London
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Imperial and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) have launched an ambitious vision for growth in White City.

White City Innovation District – a partnership between the College and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF)– is home to some of the world’s most innovative organisations, spanning life sciences, deep tech, media and the creative arts. Together with the local community, global businesses like  Novartis and Airbus are establishing the district as a major economic and cultural hotspot. 

The White City Innovation District has now launched the next phase in its ambitious strategy of accelerated expansion with a new digital home providing a focal point to connect its growing network of more than 100 co-located organisations, as well as residents, businesses, education providers and local community groups. 

The District plays a pivotal role in supporting the success of breakthrough industries, innovative public services, and ground-breaking scientific research. Imperial’s White City Campus, the College’s 23-acre platform for innovation, entrepreneurship and multidisciplinary research, is at the heart of the District, which also encompasses Imperial’s Hammersmith Hospital Campus, as well as organisations like the Royal College of Art, ITV, Television Centre, and a wealth of world-leading innovation and business-building facilities.

White City is now recognised as a leading cluster for European life sciences research and innovation, with Autolus, and Synthace and Novartis all based in the region. 

Thriving ecosystem

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: “White City Innovation District is home to some of the world’s most dynamic innovators. Like the early days of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are clustering with academics, established industry and a vibrant local community. Scientists, engineers, medics and businesspeople are co-locating and co-creating on an unprecedented scale. This is creating opportunity, transforming lives and fuelling the next generation of innovators. This new digital hub brings together White City’s whole innovation culture. It’s a new marker for why ambitious and creative entrepreneurs and investors should join this thriving ecosystem.”  

Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham added: "Our inclusive growth strategy for White City draws on the experience of economic eco-systems from around the world. The extraordinary collaboration between H&F as a public authority, Imperial College London as a major academic institution and entrepreneurs and businesses is transforming White City into a global economic hotspot in the most innovative sectors of the 21st century economy. We want these opportunities to be open to the widest possible number of people which is why linking the work of our schools, apprenticeship programmes, youth services and retraining schemes is central to our approach. The growth and innovations being generated in White City is strengthening the UK economy and will shape the future for decades to come. It is a model for a new British industrial revolution.”

Prema Gurunathan, Managing Director of Upstream, the first-of-its-kind growth partnership between Hammersmith & Fulham and Imperial College London, commented: “In our work, we are constantly speaking to organisations based in White City Innovation District; what comes across is a real appetite to collaborate, innovate and work together to solve both common and global challenges. Across the Life Sciences roundtable, Deep Tech Network and Digital Creative Network West that Upstream helps organise, people are looking for opportunities to connect, exchange knowledge and make an impact”.  

Upstream recently released its Impact and Innovation 110 (II110) report – profiling pioneering White City organisations that are leading the way in innovation and impact within the science, tech, creative and charitable sectors. Find out more about the II110 launch event here.  

This article was first published on 22 March by Imperial College London.

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