Knowledge Economy

A key Greater Exeter development theme

A series of articles assessing Exeter's capacity for significant knowledge economy growth

Government policy promotes Exeter as a centre for environmental futures research and development, predicating the emergence of a local entrepreneurial innovation cluster on the presence of the new Met Office supercomputer and specialists at the University of Exeter. The Innovation Exeter initiative, Exeter Science Park and the University of Exeter Innovation Centre have also been established in support of city knowledge economy development.

Exeter has also been identified as a key centre of digital economy activity, following rapid growth in small communications services businesses in the city in recent years. However, the nationally successful Exeter College and Exeter Maths School facilitate the departure of many of the region’s most able young people, and low graduate retention rates mean the city is short of the resource it most needs to develop a local knowledge economy: youthful entrepreneurial talent.

So how realistic is a vision of significant knowledge economy growth in and around Exeter? Of what elements is such a sector essentially composed? And can one be successfully kickstarted here in the absence of most typical agglomeration effect drivers and with well-established competition both nearby and further afield?

This series aims to answer these questions by assessing Exeter’s potential to compensate for lack of scale, density and proximity to markets and supply chains with the possibility of sectoral specialisation in social sciences and environmental futures alongside wider digital economy development driven by human capital attracted by economic, social and cultural opportunities as well as the region’s natural capital.

More themes

Spatial strategy

A series of articles considering Exeter's strategic spatial options

Knowledge Economy articles

The Future of the Professions in Exeter

How will artificial intelligence & automation affect the local economy?

Some studies predict massive job losses caused by new technologies while others emphasise their potential to create new forms of employment. We examine their likely regional impact in detail.

3 minute read

Housing Knowledge Economy Key Workers

Three options to help meet Exeter's human resource needs

Recent development patterns have failed to supply needed affordable private housing in central Exeter. We explore a low-cost strategy that combines a range of tenure models suited to answering this challenge.

3 minute read

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