The Warwick Innovation District Report 2022: A Summary

Sam Peckett, 05 october 2023

The University of Warwick has a rich history of supporting creativity, business partnerships and entrepreneurship—the university produces nearly 30% of spinout businesses in the West Midlands. To realise its potential, Warwick appointed a Chief Innovation Officer and created the Warwick Innovation District (WID). Our report, produced alongside WID, provides an in-depth analysis of the district’s performance in 2022.

Take a look at our summary below.

Key takeaways

Business demography

As of the publication date, there are 2,170 high-growth and innovative businesses in the West Midlands. Of those, 347 are startups, 57 are spinouts and 772 are scaleups.

The top sector for high-growth companies in the area is property/land development and construction. The industry represents 6.77% of the region’s 2,170 active businesses, higher than the 5.73% of companies working in this sector across the UK. Tech companies are also well represented, with sub-sectors such as Software-as-a-Service (25), internet platform (19), mobile apps (18) and analytics, insight and tools (18) ranking highly.

Of the 91 companies based in the West Midlands that have spun out from academic institutions, the University of Warwick (27) and University of Birmingham (25) have spun out over half of them.

Download our full report to read about local major employers and sector spotlights in the area.


The number, and value, of deals invested into companies based in Warwickshire and Coventry has continued to grow over the past decade. Between 2012 and 2021, the value of equity investment quadrupled, rising from £90.9m to £413m. The number of deals taking place has also increased significantly, increasing from 96 investment rounds taking place in 2012 to 208 occurring in 2021.

The top investor by the number of deals in companies in the West Midlands from 2012-2021 is Minerva Business Angel Network with 52. Mercia Fund Managers (44), Crowdcube (43) and Midlands Engine Investment Fund (41) follow close behind.

The regional leader of the West Midlands for institutions by the amount of equity raised by its spinouts is the University of Warwick— these companies secured £35.8m in 2021. Contributing to this total was an £11.7m deal into Lightcast Discovery, and a £6.2m deal into NanoSyrinx.

Future outlook

The government’s levelling up programme includes investing in ongoing research and development taking place across the nation. For the West Midlands, where innovation stemming from leading universities is rife, this represents a key opportunity to commercialise the world-leading research taking place.

The Levelling Up White Paper highlighted opportunities for future transport technologies in the West Midlands. The Warwick Manufacturing Group was highlighted as a key innovation cluster to be supported through an increased research and development budget. One example of this is Coventry’s move to become the first all-electric bus city—a project supported by £50m of Government funding.

To read more about the future of the region, along with more in-depth analysis of the WID, download our full report.

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