North East ‘most innovative region’

London may produce the most patents, but North East England generates more innovation relative to its population and resources, a study finds.

The capital is responsible for a quarter of all patents, trademarks and design rights filed in the UK over the last decade, with the South East and the North West taking second and third place by this measure, according to the research from the British Library.

However, when you factor in regional populations and the amount of money spent on research and development (R&D), the North East comes out as more innovative, considerably ahead of Wales in second place and London in third.

Mike Addison, head of new business development at Procter and Gamble, which has a technical centre in the North East, says the region ‘combines talented people from five universities with an outstanding environment in which to live and work, attracting people to an area with the public structures that further facilitate knowledge transfer across the region’.

The least innovative regions in the UK by pure number of patents are Wales and Northern Ireland, while by the resources-adjusted measure, the South East and East of England come out on the bottom.

Official figures last month revealed that the North East contributes 3.1 per cent of the UK’s total GVA, or added value, compared to London’s 23.5 per cent and 15.4 per cent for the rest of South East England.

UK regions by pure number of patents, trademarks and design rights

London: 65,812
South East: 45,078
North West: 24,766
East of England: 23,679
South West: 21,749
West Midlands: 18,800
North East: 16,096
East Midlands: 15,637
Scotland: 12,899
Yorkshire: 9,212
Wales: 6,426
North Ireland: 1,925

See also: Relocate to the North East

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

Related Topics

North East England