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Digital Technology

The Thames Valley has long been a technology hub and a proven location for both established global brands and innovative start-ups to grow.

Telecommunications

The region is home to three of the world’s top 10 telecom companies – Vodafone, Verizon and Telefonica – along with many other firms with their EMEA (including Huawei) and UK headquarters, and based here. The depth of businesses located in the Thames Valley is impressive, with estimates indicating around 1000 telecom-related businesses operating in the region, the depth of those operating is impressive.

The 5G Innovation Centre, located at the University of Surrey, is the UK’s only research centre dedicated to the next generation of mobile communications. Open innovation and industry collaboration is showcased with the establishment of the Huawei/Vodafone “Open IoT Lab”, which works on the development of products and applications relating to Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT).

Cyber Security

The Thames Valley is rapidly becoming a centre of excellence for cyber security, with major businesses looking to relocate to the region; it is home to five of the world’s top 10 ‘hottest and innovative’ cyber security firms. The growing cluster of businesses locating here is driven by the availability of a strong talent pool and access to academic research and development. The Cyber Security Centre at the University of Oxford is an “Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research”, a status bestowed by the UK Government’s Communication Headquarters (GCHQ).

Data Centres

Why Data-related industries and investment? In a recent report, Tech UK confirmed that “Data-related industries have a larger multiplier effect and provide better economic returns than other sectors.” The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) argues that “data and data analytics are essential drivers of innovation and productivity”. Maintaining our investments in digital infrastructure, welcoming inward investment and protecting and nurturing UK operators should be a ‘no brainer’.

Information Technology

The UK develops software for many applications and international companies, providing funding for research and development (R&D). About 100,000 software companies operate in the UK including Microsoft, IBM and HP. The UK cloud computing market offers large investment opportunities for companies in the ICT sector. 18% of UK small medium enterprises (SMEs) use cloud and a further 30% plan to use them in the next 12 months. 81% of established cloud users in the UK plan to increase cloud usage over the next 2 years.

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 sub-region as their investment destination. Together with a unique breadth and depth of indigenous, UK-owned firms, an outstanding cluster has formed, known as the UK’s Silicon Valley.

The most recent Tech Nation report (2017) states: “Located at the heart of the UK’s traditional enterprise and science tech belt, Berkshire has a strong history in digital technology.” Reading, an affluent Berkshire town, has appeared in the top-10 of fDi’s Digital Economies of the Future 2018/19.

Interview with Mark Sears, CloudFactory

CloudFactory established their global headquarters in the Thames Valley earlier this year. Discover who they are and what’s in store for them in this video.

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 sub-region as their investment destination. Together with a unique breadth and depth of indigenous, UK-owned firms, an outstanding cluster has formed, known as the UK’s Silicon Valley. The most recent Tech Nation report (2017) states: “Located at the heart of the UK’s traditional enterprise and science tech belt, Berkshire has a strong history in digital technology.” Reading, an affluent Berkshire town, has appeared in the top-10 of fDi’s Digital Economies of the Future 2018/19.

 

The strength of the wider Thames Valley’s ITEC economy is also an important factor behind the region’s strong productivity and Gross Added Value (GVA) performance. In 2015, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP cited the highest productivity levels (27% above the UK average) outside of London. At 16% and 8% above the UK average, respectively, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley (4th) and Oxfordshire (6th) are among the highest performing LEP areas. The Thames Valley economy ranks consistently as one of the highest performing sub-regions in the UK. With a combined GVA per head (in 2015) of £83,838m, it is bigger than that of 11 of the EU’s 28 member states.

 

All the benefits without the costs – with access into the capital becoming even quicker and more efficient, and commercial property space, in some instances, up to half the price of Central London, the Thames Valley has always been viewed as a great location and a viable alternative to London.

Invest in GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland

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. Uncover what makes it GREAT in this video.

Interview with Sue Staunton, James Cowper Kreston

Sue Staunton of James Cowper Kreston’s Technology special interest group, describes how the team can support inward investors into the region.

What is the Internet of Things?

In this video from the European Space Agency, discover more about the Internet of Things, a network of devices connecting and sharing information through 5G.

Interview with Tom Fletcher, Lambert Smith Hampton

Hear from Tom Fletcher, Head of Lambert Smith Hampton’s Reading Office, on the strength of the town’s digital technology sector and its contribution to the local economy.

Interview with Dr Orhan Ertughrul, G-SMATT

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 benefits their growth.

For more information on the UK’s technology sector – one of the largest in Europe, go to: https://invest.great.gov.uk/us/industries/technology/