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Science and Innovation Audits

What are Science and Innovation Audits (SIA)?

Science and Innovation Audits are funded competitively by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. They are a process that brings together and supports local consortia of business, universities, research and innovation organisations, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and their equivalents in the Devolved Administrations. The Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) process broadens and deepens our understanding of areas of potential globally competitive advantage across the UK. Each audit therefore reflects a specific geography or “place”. 

With independent analytical support, the consortia examine key science and innovation strengths in their regions to provide evidence of their potential to build and develop world leading products, services and technologies.

The reports combine national data sets with an “on the ground” view based on local data, knowledge and experience. The analysis examines an area’s strength in science and innovation and relates these to a national and international context. This evidence will help underpin future investment decisions, foster local collaboration and strengthen future bids for local investment from public and private sources.

Innovation for Sustainable Airports

This Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) will focus on Innovation for Sustainable Airports using Heathrow as the primary place.

Heathrow Airport represents 1% of UK GDP, is in the Thames Valley that delivers 10% of UK GDP, and is recognized for excellence in customer experience and operational efficiency, operating at 98% capacity. It is also an internationally recognised leader in environmental sustainability, a position reinforced by Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s new sustainability leadership strategy. It is the most efficient 2-runway airport in the world, and while aviation is growing globally, research, innovation and business collaboration will be critical for this growth to be sustainable.

Heathrow Airport is a mixed economy delivering a single purpose -excellent journeys. This SIA will explore and validate specific areas of excellence across the Heathrow system and use these to demonstrate potential global competitive advantage. 

The place-based economic development hypothesis that this SIA will explore is that: science and innovation excellence supporting Sustainable Airports will be in demand for major airport operation and development, and this SIA will connect and embed the expertise, methods and innovations needed in the UK for exploitation globally. 

The partners will focus on Big Data and Cyber Security, Intelligent Mobility, Sustainable Construction and Operational Excellence themes, to help make Heathrow and the UK system of businesses the home of Sustainable Airport innovation by 2020.




  • Brunel University London
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd
  • Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd
  • TRL
  • The Heathrow Strategic Planning Group
  • The Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP
  • The Smart Specialisation Hub
  • West London Business
  • BRE (Building Research Establishment Ltd)
  • Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce


Contact us

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