By Claire West
Two years since committing Government support to the growing tech cluster in East London, the Prime Minister today announced a major Government investment in Tech City.
The Government will put £50m towards a visionary project to regenerate the Old Street roundabout, which will see it transformed into Europe’s largest indoor civic space, dedicated to start-ups and entrepreneurs in East London. This new civic building will host classrooms, co-working spaces and workshops equipped with the latest 3D printing technology, for use by both the local start-ups and the wider community.
These announcements from the Government were accompanied by a host of major corporate commitments to Tech City, including the following:
Microsoft is establishing a Technology Development Centre in the heart of Tech City as part of their commitment to the cluster, and will support local technology development, work to inspire innovation and provide expertise and guidance to those with new and innovative ideas. They will create packages of support for Developer Apprentices and are working on a new Apprenticeship to support young people in and around Tech City
Cisco, DC Thomson and UCL are opening IDEALondon, an innovation centre in Shoreditch to support the growth of digital and media companies, in a unique alliance between a world-leading research institution, a world-class information technology provider and an international media company. The facility will host up to 25 digital and media companies
KPMG, the global professional services firm, announces the opening of an office in Shoreditch, with a dedicated team to support early stage technology companies. The team will provide advice for early stage tech companies looking to grow and flourish in the UK and beyond
IBM will bring its entrepreneur programme to the innovative companies in Tech City. The IBM Global Entrepreneur programme provides access to technology, support and resources to help technology start-ups develop solutions for a smarter planet and grow their businesses
Alert Me, one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, is moving to Tech City. AlertMe develops technology that enables consumers to manage their home energy usage online or by smartphone, wherever they are. The move will establish in Tech City a centre of expertise on technologies promoting energy efficient consumption and the smart, connected home
Barclays and Ravensbourne are announcing a new creative partnership, that will see Barclays working with – and offering placements to — Ravensbourne students to bring technology and design to bear on specific business challenges
Skills Matter, who help a 35,000 strong developer community learn and share skills to write better software, is announcing an $5m investment by Beringea to provide even more opportunities for its community to collaborate with the world’s top technology experts
Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, is working with the Tech City Investment Organisation to support a programme of events that will showcase the innovation and dynamism of Tech City start-ups.
The success of Tech City was hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said:
“Two years ago I set out my commitment to help Tech City become one of the world’s great technology centres. Today we are seeing it continue to grow and go from strength to strength — and that is down to the talented, creative entrepreneurs who have set up there. The UK is in a global race and I am determined that we as a Government continue doing everything we can to equip the UK to compete and thrive in that race. As well as backing the businesses of today, we are creating an aspiration nation and also backing the innovative, high-growth businesses of the future. That’s why we’re investing in creating the largest civic space in Europe — a place for start-up companies and the local community to come together and become the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ”The 2012 Games were a catalyst for enormous change in East London, with a new quarter of the capital now primed to become the world’s most thriving centre for technology and innovation. The time is right to lay solid foundations in Tech City for London’s digital revolution, and this list of major new firms committing to the area is a testament to the confidence leading tech entrepreneurs have in the capital. Our new centre will provide not only a vital resource to nurture upcoming technology and creative superstars from around the world, it will drive huge investment into the capital and help create thousands of jobs.”
Joanna Shields, incoming CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), said:
“Tech City has become a thriving hub of tech-based enterprise and creativity. We have a vibrant community here full of exciting emerging businesses that are growing alongside some of the world’s most respected tech companies. We have the opportunity to take this momentum and make Tech City the global leader in tech innovation and the location of choice for start-ups and growth businesses.”