Supporting Bruntwood’s submission to the international ID Manchester Competition
ID Manchester is an 800k ft² site on the University of Manchester’s (UoM) 4.5m ft² North Campus in central Manchester. In 2019, UoM launched an international competition to select a partner with whom to co-develop the site, establishing a new applied innovation district of international standing, and focused on four of UoM’s Research Beacons. The strategic imperatives for the site’s development were the attraction and commercialisation of innovation activity, the creation of high-quality, resilient employment, and the consequent growth of productivity/wealth for the City Region. Against this background, Steer-ED and Arthur D. Little were commissioned non-competitively by the Bruntwood SciTech/Stanhope consortium to act as Strategic Innovation and Economic Advisers to its bid to the competition.
Our method involved a thorough analysis of applied innovation district experience across the globe and a detailed review of how future market/technology convergence was likely to change models for science- and technology-based innovation and IP commercialisation. Our subsequent engagement work identified target markets, sectors, and specific companies whose use activities aligned with ID Manchester’s proposed innovation foci. These insights were then used to drive a detailed Prospecting/Engagement strategy for ID Manchester. The final element of our work was to develop a performance measurement toolkit in the form of a formal Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, by which the success of the development, in terms of objectives achieved and outcomes delivered, could be tracked in real-time and through ex-post evaluation.
Steer-ED also acted as ‘Critical Friend’ to the Bruntwood/Stanhope team, regularly testing and challenging their developing approach and proposed business model and levering Steer-ED’s wider experience of the integrated role Skills, Enterprise, Community/Neighbourhood, Knowledge, Infrastructure, and Low Carbon play in resilient economic development ecosystems.
The study involved working at a very senior level with a skilled and diverse public sector stakeholder group (including the University, City Leaders/Politicians, and UK Government leaders) and prospective private sector partners to secure agreement around the ID Manchester proposition, this requiring high-performance process skills.