University Design Forum (formerly HEDQF) Innovation districts research - call for case studies

15 December 2022
AUE subscribes to the UDF and are happy to pass on their request for case studies as detailed below.

Dear forum Member


Innovation Districts (University Design Forum RG010)


Increasingly Universities are collaborating with external stakeholders such as Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, and private sector partners to create facilities focused on research and innovation. These partnerships are coming together to provide spaces for cross-disciplinary research and to prototype and test innovations in everything from medical technology to manufacturing and life sciences. These facilities are by and large innovative because of the activities they promote. Often, they can be the catalyst for urban regeneration. 


How can you help? 

The University Design Forum is keen to capture the innovations in this arena through case studies that we collate into a showcase of best practice.  I've attached the forms that we currently use for our general building case studies (you can see completed examples of these on our website).  It would be great if you could use this format to provide a document that will be shared with HE estates teams to demonstrate ways in which they might explore similar partnerships that enhance their research offer, support entrepreneurship and stimulate urban regeneration. Moreover we ask you to describe how some of the successful Innovation Districts are both funded and managed / coordinated – ie. Is it by the Universities or by a mixture of joint ventures with private finance (VC support) and / or specialist developers who understand the needs of start-ups / spin-outs?  It's these aspects we want to focus on rather than purely design issues - though of course we are always seeking to promote good design!


We really hope you can help.  Please send your case studies to  asap, or by Friday 13th January 2023 at the latest, or if you have any questions in the meantime just contact Philip or me.


With our very best wishes for Christmas and the new year, 


Kind Regards




University Design Forum