Leeds selected to host major international growth programme

Leeds and the wider region has been selected to host a prestigious international growth programme which will see over 100 international leaders from government, business, universities and finance visit the city in January, 2020.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) innovation programme provides expert, evidence-based guidance to support regions to accelerate economic growth, job creation and social change.

The programme has previously supported major cities and countries such as Beijing, Tokyo and Qatar to shape their economic and societal impact.

Leeds successfully bid for a place on the globally renowned two-year MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP) last year, after the region was identified as having significant strengths to support the UK economy.

The MIT programme is currently supporting Leeds to identify challenges and barriers to progress. The workshop in Leeds, which is the next stage of the programme, will help Leeds, and the other regions involved in the programme, develop new strategies to implement change and to support innovation and inclusive growth.

The Leeds City team includes leaders from the University of Leeds and Nexus, KPMG, Arup, Leeds City Council, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds Academic Health Partnership, and entrepreneurs Adam Beaumont, David Aspin and Ben Ziff.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “I am proud that Leeds City Region is following in the footsteps of global cities like Beijing, London and Tokyo in hosting this prestigious international programme in partnership with the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“It will draw on the expertise and know-how of some of the world’s preeminent business leaders, academics and government representatives to help supercharge growth, create new jobs and further strengthen the resurgent Northern Powerhouse economy.”

Leeds will welcome international delegations to the three-day programme between 27 – 30 January 2020, including teams from Central Denmark, Guangzhou, Kentucky, Oslo and Sydney.

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