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100 organisations sign charter as Innovate Cambridge builds to ‘define decade of life sciences’





An initial 100 signatories have joined Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), and the University of Cambridge to develop the Innovate Cambridge initiative.

Michael Anstey, partner, CIC, at the Innovate Cambridge Summit in September 2022. Picture: David Johnson
Michael Anstey, partner, CIC, at the Innovate Cambridge Summit in September 2022. Picture: David Johnson

The ambitious Greater Cambridge initiative 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”.

In September, Innovate Cambridge’s founders were joined by 180 industry leaders, politicians, start-up founders, and members of the Cambridge technology community at the inaugural ‘Innovate Cambridge’ summit to launch the initiative.

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.

And now, with AstraZeneca and Microsoft joining the steering committee, there are 100 signatures on the charter, and Tabitha Goldstaub, CogX co-founder, has been appointed Innovate Cambridge executive director with the Rt Hon. Lord Willetts joining as chair of the initiative’s steering committee.

At Newnham College on December 7, 2022 are Innovate Cambridge instigators, from left, Dr Michael Anstey, Tabitha Goldstaub, Professor Andy Neely and Dr Diarmuid O’Brien. Picture: David Johnson
At Newnham College on December 7, 2022 are Innovate Cambridge instigators, from left, Dr Michael Anstey, Tabitha Goldstaub, Professor Andy Neely and Dr Diarmuid O’Brien. Picture: David Johnson

The sigantories include local government, start-ups, universities, science parks and investors, alongside industry leaders including Arm, AstraZeneca and Microsoft, with more expected to sign soon.

Lord Willetts, the former Minister for Universities and Science, joins the Innovate Cambridge’s steering committee with Prof Andy Neely, senior pro-vice-chancellor: enterprise and business relations at the University of Cambridge; Shaun Grady, AstraZeneca’s senior VP business development operations; Prof Yvonne Barnett, deputy VP for research & innovation for Anglia Ruskin University; Robert Pollock, chief executive of Cambridge City Council, and other representatives from the city’s innovation ecosystem.

Innovate Cambridge’s founders, new steering committee and charter signatories will now begin to define an ambitious, inclusive vision for the greater Cambridge area.

Tabitha Goldstaub, Innovate Cambridge’s executive director and chair of the UK government AI Council, said: “I’m honoured to lead Innovate Cambridge and serve this fascinating ecosystem. Having recently moved to the area, I have a lot to learn about what makes Cambridge the uniquely innovative place that we all know and love. I’m looking forward to working with stakeholders and charter signatories to ensure that the benefits of the science and technology conceived in the city are felt by all areas of society, globally and locally, here in the Greater Cambridge region.

“It is clear from the early responses that organisations from across the city share a determination to rally around a combined vision for the future. I encourage more organisations to join in. We need voices from across the city to be heard in order to create a glue that supports the ecosystem to be more than just the sum of its parts.”

Diarmuid O’Brien, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise at the Innovate Cambridge launch. Picture: David Johnson
Diarmuid O’Brien, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise at the Innovate Cambridge launch. Picture: David Johnson

Diarmuid O’Brien, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise, said: “Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital, and the University of Cambridge came together to found Innovate Cambridge to frame a conversation around, and then agree a concrete set of goals that will help to develop the greater Cambridge area from an innovation perspective.

“Many cities and regions across the world are rapidly getting organised to secure their futures. We must learn from and build on their experiences. Today’s news, last night’s event, and the subsequent number of signatures we have secured for the charter to date, have confirmed that we are securing visible commitment from all key stakeholders to deliver an enhanced Cambridge innovation strategy.”

Michael Anstey, CIC partner, said: “The fact that so many of Cambridge’s key stakeholders have already signed up to the Innovate Cambridge Charter is proof that the ecosystem is proud of what we have achieved together, but determined to come together to define, and then implement, an inclusive, forward-looking vision for the ecosystem, which ensures the city continues to innovate, compete, and deliver impact on a global scale well into the future.”



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