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New Report Names Edinburgh as Key Global Innovation Hub

Ross Kelly



Edinburgh boasts more than 160 research institutions, making it one of Britain’s major R&D hubs.

Edinburgh has been named as one of the most innovative cities in the world, according to a newly-published report.

The Active Capital report, published by real estate consultancy Frank Knight, ranked 288 major cities around the world based on a range of variables, including data related to strength of research outputs, economic prosperity and quality of life.

According to the report, Edinburgh ranks fourth-place overall in the UK, behind London, Cambridge and Oxford.

Globally, the consultancy found, Scotland’s capital is also positioned ahead of major European cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels and Oslo.

With more than 160 research institutions, Edinburgh was identified as one of Britain’s major research and development hubs.

Additionally, the city is buoyed by a highly active digital technology community, with only Cambridge having more tech meet-ups per 100,000 population.

Edinburgh was also ranked second in the UK for quality of life, and also among the world’s top 50 in this regard. A report published earlier this year by Knight Frank found that Edinburgh was among the top 20 cities for wellbeing globally.

Commenting on the research, Toby Withall, partner at Knight Frank Edinburgh said the city’s thriving tech startup scene and its appeal as a city to start a business in makes Edinburgh one of the top cities worldwide.

“Anyone who lives, works, or even has visited Edinburgh knows it has a huge amount to offer people, both personally and professionally,” he said.

“The city has a long academic tradition and its research institutions have provided a great base for a thriving tech community that has grown exponentially over the past decade,” Withall added.


A key factor in Edinburgh’s high ranking, Withall noted, was quality of life.

“That said, there are plenty of places where tech start-ups could choose to establish themselves; but what has continually set Edinburgh apart – particularly in recent years – is the quality of life its residents enjoy,” he said.

“In the post-Covid world, we expect that to only become more prominent a theme, with reports of massive interest in residential property in the city from other parts of the country, especially London.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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