What is SHIFT?

We’ve reached a tipping point. Our cities are struggling as they grapple with crises in climate adaptation, health outcomes and economic inequities. Shift London is here to catalyse a world-class, collective response.

SHIFT, the new identity for the inclusive innovation community that exists at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, reflects the collective shift that we as a society need to make to bring forward a thriving, fair and resilient future in our global cities. Whether it’s delivering real world innovation trials at the Park or developing new research partnerships, we’re here to significantly turn the dial, to drive the seismic shift needed in the approach to innovation, to achieve the outcomes that will improve and safeguard the future of our cities.

We activate collaboration and partnerships to power better urban futures and explore solutions to improve the lived experience in cities.

We facilitate and coordinate connections between leading-edge academic institutions, established businesses and start-ups, creative clusters, a growing science and tech community, local residents and local government.


  • A genuine urban testbed

    Shift is of the city and for the city — a 560-acre innovation park in the heart of London. Practical and multifaceted, this is a living urban testbed, where knowledge is jointly created and shared.

    Better urban futures

    Shift rises to the fundamental challenges facing cities today - climate change adaptation, wellbeing and social justice. We work to affect positive change in the urban environment, solving problems and reducing the risks to our lives and infrastructure.

    Inclusive innovation

    Shift is here to find answers to real, everyday problems through innovation and experimentation. We put inclusive innovation first, focusing on ‘good’ growth, environmental benefit and civic involvement.

    World-class partners

    Shift brings together a group of world-class partners — innovators from the community, commerce and academia. These thinkers, doers and creators will shift the way we think to make things happen.

    Local focus, global reach

    Shift researches, explores and tests issues from our immediate locality but with global relevance. Our work in east London is designed to travel, shifting from city to city. We intend to create positive ripples of change throughout the world.

    Open for business

    Shift welcomes courageous entrepreneurs, investors, and commissioners to join us in a spirit of collaboration and experimentation. Together we’ll shift towards a better future for our cities and citizens.

  • SHIFT will become the UK’s first living urban testbed of its kind, uniting innovators from community, business and academia. We bring together world-class partners, all focused on tackling everyday problems facing cities and their citizens today. Like the urgent changes needed to cope with the climate emergency; addressing health and wellbeing challenges in cities; looking at how people and goods will move around urban environments in the future. Located in the growing and diverse heart of east London, SHIFT will explore, test and improve these kinds of everyday issues.

    Founding partners include:

    UAL's London College of Fashion

    Founded in 1906, London College of Fashion is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. Part of the University of the Arts London, it has been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. It encourages students to examine the past and challenge the present, to form their own ideas. It gives them the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice.


    International Quarter London (a joint venture development between Lendlease and LCR) is the capital’s new home for progressive business. With an abundance of green space and fresh air, access to some of the world’s most forward-thinking cultural institutions and a workplace design that has employee wellbeing at its heart, IQL gives people a place to move, breathe and think.

    University College London

    UCL is recognised as one of the world’s top 10 universities and first in the UK for the strength of its research. Now, in the single biggest development since the university was founded nearly 200 years ago, UCL will create their new UCL East campus. Home to the new and pioneering, around 4,000 students and 260 academic staff will immerse themselves in issues of manufacturing, making, transport, artificial intelligence, sustainability, urbanisation, social inclusivity, and more.

    Loughborough University London 

     Loughborough University London is an inspiring postgraduate campus located on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Established exclusively for postgraduate study and research, Loughborough University London combines influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators to deliver one of the best postgraduate experiences the UK has to offer.

    Here East

    Here East was designed from the outset to operate as a catalyst for change and a pillar of the post-Olympic East London community. A dedicated campus, for innovators, disruptors, visionaries and locals to push their professional and personal boundaries; to surround themselves with some of the world’s most inspiring artists and performers; to build on the Olympics’ architectural and cultural legacy.


    Plexal is Here East’s innovation centre and co-working space. Collaboration is at the heart of its approach. Plexal’s innovation team delivers programmes for clients like Innovate UK and Transport for London, and specialises in connecting industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.

    London Legacy Development Corporation

    The London Legacy Development Corporation is the Mayor of London’s development corporation for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area. Working with the LLDC and with support for central government, the Mayor is working with local authorities, cultural businesses and venues, artists, creative entrepreneurs and civil society to make sure the full potential is realised for London and for Londoners.