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"Hubs" of digital innovation

Many attempts have been made around the world to replicate the format and culture of California’s famous Silicon Valley. In the UK, for example, there is TechNation.

The East London cluster of technology companies known as London Tech City (or Silicon Roundabout!) began in 2011. Tech City merged with its northern counterpart Tech North to form TechNation in 2017. Its mission is:

“To empower ambitious tech entrepreneurs to grow faster through knowledge and connections; to build a UK economy fit for the next generation.”

TechNation champions digital business in the UK. It organises a programme of events around the country and provides training to entrepreneurs at all stages of their digital business development, and has recently produced a comprehensive report into the locations and competitiveness of the UK’s digital technology sector.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • The technology sector is expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy

  • It is worth nearly £184 billion to UK economy, up from £170 billion in 2016.

  • London is the second most connected place for technology in the world, after Silicon Valley.

Growth is not restricted to London - 16 “Silicon Suburbs” have a higher proportion of employment in digital businesses than the UK average. These centres include Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth, Reading and Glasgow.

Do clusters of digital businesses like this exist in your part of the world? Identify a specific hub and list the factors that have contributed to its success. Share your findings in the comments section below.

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