Recently I was chatting with a couple of people at an event in Shoreditch about what makes a creative industry cluster — such as Silicon Alley and the East London Tech City — flourish and grow. We concluded that there are some key ingredients required to fully develop the community; the presence of Big Tech, legal, accountants, VC’s, and of course start-ups operated by savvy entrepreneurs.
We are one year on from the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron and Cisco CEO John Chambers of the Cisco-led British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme.
Since then we’ve been busy setting the foundations for our five year commitment to supporting innovation and economic growth in the UK. We now have this new website and BIG is beginning to come to fruition.
As a new contributor to the Connected Life Exchange, I have been thinking — there’s so much that is happening in the realm of technology and telecoms , not just in the UK, but globally — it is difficult to know where to start.
So let’s go on a journey, with the starting point being East London – my home town.
In November 2010 David Cameron pledged ‘that the East London Tech City will rival the Silicon Valley’. This got me thinking, how do you create something like Silicon Valley, when Silicon Valley, really just happened? So what did David Cameron really mean when he said this and more to the point, how on earth is it going to be achieved?
If you’ve been following my commentary about the role of telecom infrastructure investment in new master plan cities, such as Songdo in South Korea — or Howard’s posts about recent developments in Africa — then you may have assumed that the economic gains are likely being reaped mostly in these type of markets. Actually, the positive impact is applicable to all types of environments, including established markets.
As an example, consider the forward-looking plans for the East London Tech City, in the heart of one of Europe’s largest and most established metropolitan areas. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has set out the government’s ambition to build on the existing cluster of technology companies in East London, to create a world-leading technology center.