The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has announced that it will establish its second headquarters in Salford, Greater Manchester, demonstrating the region’s strengths in the sector. 

Greater Manchester is renowned globally for its industrial legacy and pioneering spirit, with a history of innovations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) that have changed the world from the splitting of the atom to the first IVF baby, and more recently, the discovery of isolated Graphene which has spark innovations in advanced manufacturing. 

With universities boasting world-class specialisms, research centres of excellence and concentrated clusters of expertise across a range of key sectors including life sciences & healthcare, advanced materials, creative & media, digital & tech and low carbon, Greater Manchester is already globally recognised as a leading destination for science, technology and innovation. 

Because of this, the region has played host to many prestigious scientific conferences, based on its research assets, access to academic experts and reputation as an innovation powerhouse. This includes Graphene2023, the largest European Graphene conference, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium & Medical Imaging Conference 2019 and PTCOG58 2019, which was the largest ever global gathering of particle therapy scientists.  

The decision to open a second headquarters in Salford will position DSIT at the heart of a community that has played a pivotal role in shaping scientific and technological advancements in the UK. 

DSIT and Building Digital UK currently has nearly 200 staff based in Greater Manchester, which it hopes will double in the coming years. 

The announcement forms part of the government’s Places for Growth programme, a civil service wide commitment to grow the number of roles outside of London and the south-east to 22,000 by 2027. 

The decision, which positions DSIT comes at an exciting time for Greater Manchester's Innovation Ecosystem. 

Our region's Investment Zone, announced in the Autumn Statement, is expected to create over 32,000 jobs and stimulate over £1bn in private sector investment, building on our strength in the advanced manufacturing and materials sector. Greater Manchester's Innovation Accelerator programme is investing millions of pounds into 10 cutting-edge R&D projects. Plus, the work of the Innovation Greater Manchester partnership is linking business, scientific and academic communities with local and national leaders to drive innovation-led growth. 

From a conference perspective, the region is also looking forward to hosting GEOINNO 2024, the 7th Geography of Innovation Conference, The Business of Science Conference 2024 and The European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) symposium next year. 

Over the years, Manchester has evolved into a modern innovation hub, housing cutting-edge research institutions, world-class universities, and thriving technology clusters. The region’s commitment to fostering STEM disciplines aligns with the government’s mission to cement the UK’s place as a science and technology superpower. 

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said: 

“Greater Manchester is steeped in a legacy of technological progress, rooted in the Industrial Revolution and long home to scientific pioneers like Alan Turing and Ernest Rutherford. 

“By establishing our second headquarters here, we not only tap into a pool of exceptional talent but also ensure that policymakers responsible for the growth of science and technology live and work alongside a dynamic community of sci-tech leaders. 

“It is important that the people we serve are placed at the heart of government and that policymakers represent the diversity of our communities. That is why the Places for Growth commitment is so vital in helping to ensure that we can grow our economy and deliver on the Prime Minister’s priorities.”