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Leeds hosts major international innovation programme

Last week Leeds played host to the world leading international growth programme, known as a MIT Reap, which saw international leaders from government, business, universities and finance visit Leeds to see how the city inspires and supports innovation.

The MIT REAP innovation programme is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and provides expert, evidence-based guidance to support regions to accelerate economic growth, job creation and social change. Leeds successfully bid for a place on the globally renowned programme after the region was identified as having significant strengths to support the UK economy.

As part of the programme, which lasts two years, representatives from 9 different international cities and regions including Sydney, Oslo and Kentucky, visited Leeds in January to hear about the ambitious plans for the Leeds City Region and to develop strategies to support innovation for their own cities.

The University of Leeds’ innovation hub, Nexus, hosted workshops for the weeklong visit, and international delegates were taken on bespoke innovation tours across the city which looked at creative cultures, financial technology, future mobility and healthcare technologies.

Commenting on the visit Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council said:“Leeds is an ambitious outward looking city that wants to learn and share with the very best in the world. The opportunity to collaborate with global leaders from nine different countries as part of the prestigious MIT programme is an unrivalled opportunity that we are grasping with both hands.

“We want Leeds to become the place that entrepreneurs who want to change the world and solve big societal problems come to start up and join with our existing thriving and innovative networks to make a big difference.

“We want to offer a place where innovators can feel supported and have the very best ecosystems to collaborate with and make a real difference not just to our economy but to our people. The fact that MIT have chosen to come to Leeds for this seminar and to see for themselves with other cities what we’ve achieved is a testament to the hard work of all members of the team and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The Leeds team includes leaders from the University of Leeds and Nexus, KPMG, Arup, Leeds City Council, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds Academic Health Partnership, and entrepreneurs Adam Beaumont, David Aspin and Ben Ziff.

For more information about Leeds’ involvement in the MIT Reap programme click here:

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