Innovation districts, partnerships and communities of innovation

Friday, December 1, 2023
Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Innovation districts, partnerships and communities of innovation

Friday, December 1, 2023
Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

What you need to know

This event is part of the 'Regenerating Scottish productivity for prosperity for all' programme of events for National Productivity Week, funded by the ESRC - check out the full programme below:

Regenerating Scottish productivity for prosperity for all

29th Nov - The Triple Bottom Line and AI - new ways of thinking about productivity

29th Nov - Journey to Prosperity: Productivity and Innovation with Dr Anna Valero

30th Nov - New perspectives on productivity: scale deep, crowdfunding and purposeful business

30th Nov - Customers, consumers and end-users as FinTech innovators? Reflections on the Consumer Duty

1st Dec - Innovation, place and communities:  innovation districts, partnerships and communities of innovation


To conclude the Scottish programme of National Productivity Week, join the Scotland Productivity Forum and the IRT Digital Society and Economy at the University of Glasgow for an illuminating and insightful conference event: Innovation, place and communities: innovation districts, partnerships and comunities of innovation”. This event will focus on:

  • What the challenges and opportunities are in enhancing productivity in Scotland at various scales and relative to specific places
  • What new agendas are at play in different sectors and different localities
  • What the practical experience is of building innovation communities in place
  • What policy and regulation changes are needed to support and facilitate improved productivity
  • What the role of innovation districts such as Glasgow City Innovation District and Glasgow Riverside Innovation District, and place-based organisations such as the Crichton Trust in Dumfries and business enterprise support in the Highlands & Islands



8:45 - 9:00: Arrival and registration

9:00 - 9:30: Presentations from speakers

  • Chair: Bridgette Wessels: Professor of Social Inequalities, University of Glasgow
  • Michael King: Director of Economic Development, University of Glasgow
  • Alisdair Gunn: Director, Glasgow City Innovation District
  • Gwilym Gibbons: Chief Executive, The Crichton Trust
  • Susie Mitchell: Programme Director, Glasgow City of Science and Innovation
  • Colin Mason: Emeritus Professor in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

9:30 - 10:00: Q&A discussion with audience

10:00 - 11:00: Networking and refreshments


Susie Mitchell: Programme Director, Glasgow City of Science and Innovation

Dr. Susie Mitchell is Programme Director for Glasgow City of Science and Innovation (GCOSI). GCOSI is highlighted in Glasgow’s Economic Strategy as an embedded regional partnership that supports multi-sector collaboration in science and innovation to address societal challenges and drive inclusive growth. GCOSI identifies and promotes Glasgow and the West of Scotland’s world-class offer in research excellence and emerging innovation strengths to attract talent, investment and collaboration opportunities. GCOSI also supports business innovation and is a founding partner of VentureFest Scotland and the CAN DO innovation Summit. Susie also co-created the VentureFest youth strand with Young Scot, VentureJam. GCOSI also leads on the Innovation Capital of Europe Ideas and Knowledge Exchange Network ( ) – a collaboration hub of 20+ European Cities supporting best practice in urban innovation.

Gwilym Gibbons: Chief Executive, The Crichton Trust

Gwilym is a social impact entrepreneur and senior leader with a strong track record in culture, heritage, and education leadership within rural and social enterprise settings. A passion for whole system and circular economy development focused on enabling places to be creative and healthy for people and the planet. He has an extensive track record in sustainable growth through partnership, collaboration, and innovation. He has been Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust since April 2018 where he has led the development of a bold new vision for a new way to work, live, study and play – cross-generational, age-friendly and adaptive, low carbon and tech-enabled while staying highly socially connected.

Michael King: Director of Economic Development, University of Glasgow

Mike King is the Director of Economic Development at the University of Glasgow, joining in January 2022. This role includes helping implement the University’s Innovation Strategy and leading on the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID) project. This ambitious project, delivered in partnership with Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise, aims to drive innovation through our research expertise and convening power to support entrepreneurship and attract high-value industry to co-locate and develop opportunities for jobs in Govan and the city region. Prior to joining the Higher Education sector, Mike spent over a decade in the civil service as a professional economist in Scottish Government, providing economic advice and analysis across a range of sectors and portfolios, including Economy, Energy and Social care. Mike also spent time working in the renewables industry for ScottishPower.

Alisdair Gunn: Director, Glasgow City Innovation District

Alisdair leads the development of Glasgow City Innovation District - Scotland’s first Innovation District and is the founder of Framewire, Scotland’s first advisory practice dedicated to developing Scotland’s Digital and Tech Ecosystem. Alisdair is recognised by his peers as one of Scotland’s prominent professional advisers amongst Scotland’s digital and technology sector. Alisdair is the co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Turing Festival and at the inaugural Scottish Tech Startup Awards was awarded the first Tech Ecosystem award where his peers recognised his expertise and commitment to developing Scotland's Tech Ecosystem. Alisdair is an Independent Board Adviser to Barclays Eagle Labs and is a board advisor to Amiqus and VeryConnect and member of Johnston Carmichael’s Tech Advisory Board.

Colin Mason: Emeritus Professor in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

Colin Mason is an Emeritus Professor in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, having retired from his position as Professor of Entrepreneurship on 30th September 2023. He previously held a Chair in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde and before that was Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Southampton. He has held visiting positions at universities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada). His research is on entrepreneurship and regional development with a focus on entrepreneurial finance, specifically business angel investing, and on entrepreneurial ecosystems. His research has a strong policy and practitioner focus and he has engaged with numerous external organizations and government, including Canada’s National Angel Capital Association (NACO), HM Treasury (Patient Capital review), Scottish Government, European Commission and OECD. He was a member of the UK’s 2021 REF Business and Management Panel.

Chair: Bridgette Wessels, Professor of Social Inequalities at University of Glasgow

Bridgette's research focuses on social exclusion and digital divides, financial exclusion and the e-economy, social media and political inequality, health inequalities and telehealth, welfare services and (digital) identity, local journalism and inclusion and e-policing, ethnicity and communities. She is also addressing the developing uses of open and big data in open services and data-driven science.

This event is funded by the ESRC.

How To Get Here

The ARC (Advanced Research Centre) is located at 11 Chapel Lane, Glasgow, G11 6EW.

The event will take place on the Ground Floor in Seminar Room 237. Signage will be present to direct you once you enter the venue.

You can find directions to the ARC on Google Maps or please use this link which will provide directional videos from three nearby locations.

For more information on how to get to the University of Glasgow can be found on this page. You may also find this link helpful.

Paid parking is available at Kelvin Hall and is just a short walk away from The ARC but spaces are limited; you should therefore make your way to UofG by public transport where possible.


Step – free access

The ARC building has step free access and all rooms participating in this event are on the ground floor.


Accessible and ambulant toilets are available throughout the building, as are gender neutral toilets. There is a Changing Places toilet located on Level 1, the lower ground floor. Please ask a member of the events team who will be happy to direct you.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome and water bowls can be provided at Reception.

Induction loops

All microphones in the building work in conjunction with an infrared hard of hearing system. Please ask a member of the events staff if you require assistance.

Blue Badge parking and drop off

The closest Blue Badge parking bay is located on University Place. Please contact the event organiser in advance if you need to arrange accessible drop off and parking immediately next to the ARC and we will be happy to assist you.



Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow
11 Chapel Lane, Glasgow, G11 6EW United Kingdom


  • Friday, December 1, 2023 9:00 AM
  • Timezone: United Kingdom Time
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