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The origin of Ingenuity can be traced back to the MIT REAP programme and its impact on the innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem in Leeds City Region. There was a clear need, from all stakeholders involved, to join forces and form a new collaboration. REAP was created by MIT for cities and city regions to co-develop long-term strategy and deploy new interventions to strengthen ecosystems’ innovative and entrepreneurial capacity.


In the case for Leeds, it involved bringing together stakeholders including the University of Leeds, Nexus, Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, KPMG, Arup, Nexus, Munroe K, the Leeds Academic Health Partnership, entrepreneurs and investors. Focusing on Leeds, the team set out in 2019 to get a better understanding of the ecosystem and to develop a smarter approach to not only measure it, but also create more impactful interventions that would make it more inclusive.

Becoming more self-aware meant to better understand the pathways that influence decision-making processes and effectively measure them using qualitative as much as quantitative data.  And the team’s ambition: To become THE place for entrepreneurs with truly innovative ideas to start and grow a business and be renowned globally as a place where innovators and entrepreneurs solve societal challenges. Outcomes from the collaboration have so far included a new method of measuring and quantifying innovation-driven enterprises and an accelerator for diverse founders with socially impactful innovations. 

The MIT REAP programme helped demonstrate that innovation through collaboration is critical to unlocking the city’s inclusive growth ambition and a route to create becoming a smarter city. Ingenuity will build on the work of MIT REAP by adding a new purpose-designed innovation hub and real-world testbed for collaborative smarter city innovation to the Leeds ecosystem. Supported by the Morley Town Deal and being developed by Munroe K at the White Rose Park, the hub and testbed are currently due to open in late 2024.


In the run up to the hub opening, White Rose Innovation Agency (WRIA), the innovation arm of Munroe K, is working with lead partner Nexus, University of Leeds and other partners and stakeholders to collaborate on a rolling programme of innovation and experiential learning activities all focussed on creating a smarter Leeds.

Meet the team


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