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Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital, and the University of Cambridge today launched ‘Innovate Cambridge’, an ambitious Greater Cambridge initiative 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 14 September, Innovate Cambridge’s founders were joined by over 180 industry leaders, politicians, start-up founders, and members of the Cambridge technology community at the inaugural Innovate Cambridge summit to 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.

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. Many cities and regions across the world are rapidly getting organised to secure their futures. The Cambridge ecosystem needs to do the same. There is so much we can achieve together, and the Summit, and subsequent signatures for the charter, confirmed that Cambridge is ready to define an inclusive, forward-looking vision for the ecosystem to ensure we compete and win well into the future and continue to deliver impact on a global scale.

Michael Anstey, Partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital

Cambridge is connected to and benefits from exceptional universities, a thriving start-up ecosystem, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, a rich angel and venture investment network, a leading medical campus, and the committed presence of globally leading businesses. 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.

Diarmuid O'Brien, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise

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, ensuring more global businesses want to establish a presence in Cambridge and for us all to realise the wider benefits those moves bring to the regional and national economy.

Professor Andy Neely OBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge

To continue as an internationally leading innovation ecosystem, Cambridge also must lead on Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). I was excited that this was an active topic of discussion at the launch event and hope to see this enthusiasm being translated into increased opportunities for marginalised communities.

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