CITIE—Northern Powerhouse analysis of Smart Cities

Greater collaboration between city regions and combined authorities could see a collective Northern Powerhouse region in the U.K.


The latest instalment of our CITIE research (from Nesta, Accenture and Future Cities Catapult) finds that greater collaboration between city regions and combined authorities could see a collective Northern Powerhouse region in the U.K. join the top tier of global destinations for tech business and entrepreneurism. This research focuses on the performance, potential for innovation, and entrepreneurship in the context of devolution in the Northern Powerhouse region. It assesses the entrepreneurial ecosystem in six city and combined authority regions in the North of England: Greater Manchester Combined Authority Region, Hull City Region, Liverpool Combined Authority Region, North East Combined Authority Region (incorporating Newcastle and Sunderland), Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (incorporating Leeds and Bradford).




CITIE Framework

CITIE is a collaboration between Nesta, Accenture and the Future Cities Catapult. It is a framework which aims to help city leaders around the world understand how they can create the best environment for entrepreneurship and innovation. The tool identifies nine roles that a city can play to support innovation and entrepreneurship; from regulator and customer, to host and connector. Cities are then assessed to see how well they played these roles by measuring the extent to which they have implemented 36 different policy levers which collectively amount to best practice. Over 40 global cities have been analysed using the framework to date.


Key recommendations to Northern city governments include:

  • Clear regulatory roadblocks: review and repeal outmoded regulations and futureproof statute books for the arrival of emerging technologies such as driverless cars

  • Learn from startups: formalise links between the public sector and entrepreneurs so city officials can learn from and understand emerging and innovative businesses

  • Set up shop at the global marketplace: coordinate marketing and trade development strategy to tell investors around the world the North is open for business

  • Hold onto graduate talent: establish career pathways to encourage leavers from the North’s string of world-class universities to stay on after graduation

  • Get everything connected: create city-wide IoT and data networks - and get as many people online as possible by prioritising fiber broadband to homes and preparing for 5G

  • Everyone on their bike: build better transport infrastructure, including cost-effective and health-promoting cycle-sharing schemes.

"Cities that have succeeded over the centuries are those that changed and adapted as economies have evolved."


Global Cities Management Consulting Lead

Smart Cities Team