By Ben Simmons

Fresh research released on the eve of the first ever Digital London event places London’s digital infrastructure in fourth place behind Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York in the eyes of technology experts. London did however beat Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.

The poll, conducted by Aurora Research on behalf of Digital London, shows 54% of respondents believe such digital infrastructure is very important to attracting new businesses to cities and 48% as very important to retaining businesses within a city. Both are key to the UK economic recovery.

Some 2,000 attendees will attend the hybrid online/face-to-face event to see over 70 sessions, featuring 20 CEOs and major government spokespeople at the ExCeL International Convention Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Entirely privately-funded, the event has attracted corporate sponsors and speakers including from US vendors such as Google, Microsoft , IBM, Broadvision, Juniper and Cisco as well as around 70 media from around the world.

Debating London’s future will be speakers from the CBI, the Mayor’s office, London Olympics Steering Committee, John Lewis and the architects responsible for major London projects at Battersea Power Station, Eurostar and the Imperial War Museum.

The research emphasizes the importance of infrastructure such as transport, communications and buildings if London is to stay at the forefront of world business. Digital London aims to bring together the best minds in building design, technology and sustainability to assess London’s claim to be a major Digital City.

Despite the disappointing overall survey ratings for London’s infrastructure compared to other leading digital cities, there were some causes for optimism, with London scoring well in sub-categories such as buildings (where 41% believed London to be a world leader), technology (35% put London ahead of the world) and industry (23%). [Full results at the end of this release]

Adam Malik, founder of the Digital London event, said: “If London is really to act as the catalyst for future UK growth, it is imperative that we convince the world of our capital’s readiness to deliver for businesses. However the smart buildings, intelligent transportation and sustainable businesses which are critical for this, have yet to be built. Digital London’s online, in-person and on-demand format is the ideal way to share the knowledge which can reclaim London’s position as a first tier Digital City.”

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