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Digital Technology

The UK is a significant market opportunity for inward investors and at its heart – the Thames Valley – is one of its most important clusters of innovative, high-growth, IP-rich companies across the full range of tech sub-sectors.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Data

 

According to the Tech Nation, ‘UK Tech on a Global Scale‘ Report (2019), the total amount of capital raised by UK AI companies reached a record level of $1.3 billion during the previous year.

Communications

 

Three of the world’s top-10 communication giants call the Thames Valley home, including Telefónica O2, Verizon and Vodafone (the first cellular network to launch in the country).

Cyber Security

 

Rapidly becoming a centre of excellence for cyber security, major businesses are looking to relocate to the Thames Valley. The region is currently home to a number of the world’s top 25 ‘hottest and innovative’ cyber security firms, including Carbon Black, FireEye, Herjavec Group & Microsoft.

Data Centres

 

The data centre industry is growing fast, and the UK is a global leader in the field. In 2017 there were 252 co-location DCs in the UK with demand rising from further migration to the cloud, the introduction of 5G in 2020 and the consequent exponential growth in data transmission.

Information Technology

 

The UK develops software for many applications and international companies, providing funding for research and development. About 100,000 software companies operate across the country, among which are IBM and HP. Many key global IT businesses choose to locate in the Thames Valley, which for many years has been known as the UK’s Silicon Valley.

Digital Technology in the UK 

The Digital Technology sector is expanding 2.6x faster than the rest of the economy, with an estimated turnover of £184 billion. With 30 significant technology clusters across the country and a strong start-up culture, the UK’s technology industry is one of the largest in Western Europe.

 

UK consumers are early adopters; moving from online to mobile, driven by use of cloud, data analytics and artificial intelligence. On the producer side, the UK is home to the highest number of IPOs and unicorns than the rest of Europe.
Discover more at Invest In Great.

Digital Technology in the Thames Valley

Oxford has always been a world leader in research and innovation, with notable achievements including the discovery of the world’s largest prime number and the world’s first computer to use transistors. More recently Oxford has seen a new generation of fast-growing tech-enabled ‘unicorns’ and other start-ups are also setting their sights high and are
rapidly creating jobs and driving growth in the city.

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan, Former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

With more than 8,000 technology-led companies based in the region, the Thames Valley has long been a technology hub and a proven location for both established global brands and innovative start-ups to grow.

 

This is strongly reflected in the sustained numbers of foreign-owned companies choosing the region as their investment destination. Together with a unique breadth and depth of indigenous firms, the Thames Valley is often referred to as the UK’s Silicon Valley – a reflection on the dominance of the tech-economy in the region.

High-performing technology towns in the Thames Valley, such as Reading and Oxford (see: PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Index), are the driving force behind the region’s consistent and continued growth; showcasing a unique cluster of businesses representing globally significant sub-sectors of the industry.

Berkshire is recognised as an internationally renowned Digital Tech Cluster; home to many large-scale technology businesses and an ever-expanding number of high-growth start-ups. Around 20% of Reading’s economic activity – a Berkshire town – is associated with the ICT sector.

Oxfordshire has a rich history of creating new start-ups, particularly those tied to the University in the computing and health-tech industries. The Oxford Sciences Innovation Fund has guided and powered by some of the world’s leading organisations, raising over £600m and with a commitment to build thriving science and technology companies.

Tech Nation Report 2020

 

Oxford has been listed as one of the top 20 European investment tech cities, just after Helsinki and Dublin, with £200 million raised in 2019. The report also mentions that the South East hosts seven digital tech unicorns, of which two are based in the Thames Valley region, Oxford Nanopore Technologies (Oxford) and Rightmove (Milton Keynes).

 

“Oxford’s ranking as one of the top European Investment Tech Cities, reflects it’s recognition as one of the UK’s largest technology clusters. The city’s digital tech industry now employs over 37,000 people and contributes approximately £1.8 billion in revenue to the UK’s economy (2019). Oxfordshire has a rich history of creating new start-ups and so it is no surprise that one of the seven South East, Digital Tech Unicorns, listed in the Tech Nation Report, is based in Oxfordshire as our technology industry continues to grow.”

 

Phil Southall, President, Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce 

 

Read more, HERE

CloudFactory recently established their global headquarters in the region. Hear from Mark Sears, CEO and Founder, on who they are and what is in store for them in this video.
Discover the strength of Reading’s Digital Technology sector and its contribution to the local economy in this interview with Tom Fletcher, Head of Lambert Smith Hampton’s Reading Office.

The M4 Corridor 

Reading and Bracknell are home some of the largest digital technology companies in the world, making the region home to the largest cluster outside of London.

 

The Thames Valley, frequently referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’ contributes roughly £10 billion in annual turnover to the British tech economy which is valued to be at £161 billion. Financial Times analysis highlights that the Reading and Bracknell digital cluster ranks highest for employee productivity, with a gross value added for each worker of approximately £158,000.

Oracle

Oracle are an American multinational computer technology corporation, headquartered in California. The company also has a base at Thames Valley Park which they chose as the location of its UK headquarters ahead of its seven other offices in the country.

Microsoft

Microsoft is an American multinational technology company, headquartered in Washington. The company also chose to base their UK headquarters at the world-famous campus at Thames Valley Business Park.

Cisco

Cisco are an American multinational technology conglomerate, headquartered in California. Cisco also base on of their 14 UK offices at the iconic Green Park, Reading.

The Thames Valley is dynamic – it’s where all major technology companies have located their headquarters, it’s where the UK’s major IT distributors are located and it’s where the fastest growing population of tech skilled students exist outside of London. It has the connections that make it ripe for business both nationally and internationally. The technology industry will drive the next 30 years of growth in our country and investing in the Thames Valley makes the greatest sense from large corporates to start-ups.

 

Alex Tatham, Managing Director at Westcoast Ltd

In this video, Dr Orhan Ertughrul from G-SMATT Europe discusses how the networks and connections they have made with partners in the Thames Valley has benefited their growth.
Sue Stanton of James Cowper Kreston’s Technology special interest group, describes how the team can support inward investors into the region.