Cambridge plays a key role in the UK's digital economy, says new report

The Cambridge cluster continues to grow and make a significant contribution to the UK's digital economy, according to a new national report published today (Thurs). The Tech Nation 2016 report by Tech City UK and Nesta says turnover of digital tech businesses in Cambridge grew 46 per cent between 2010 and 2014.


It cites Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices; enterprise software and cloud computing; app and software development and data management and analytics as notable sectors and says: "Cambridge has produced 15 digital tech companies worth over a billion dollars. It is the third most densely populated cluster of digital tech businesses in the UK, and a top ten cluster for digital employment and productivity.

"Although it has growing specialisms in IoT & connected devices and Software development, Cambridge also has an established history in cyber security, hardware, electronics and data, highlighted by the large numbers of R programmers based in the area (according to Github data).

"Digital tech businesses benefit from a highly skilled talent pipeline from the University of Cambridge and a wide-reaching support community. Organisations like Cambridge Network (School for Scale Ups) and Cambridge Wireless also support growing startups, as do Agritech-East, Cambridge Cleantech and One Nucleus.

"Small businesses are benefitting from the growing number of Ideaspace incubators, the University’s hub for early stage innovation, the St Johns Innovation Centre (Europe’s first incubator) and the Judge Business School’s Accelerate Cambridge."

Other key findings for Cambridge include:

  • Digital tech economy jobs numbering 18,532
  • Advertised digital salary averaging £47,194
  • Digital GVA* at £649 million (representing growth of 12 per cent)

The report also says that access to local networks, graduate level talent and business support in Cambridge is among the best in the country.

Tech Nation 2016 claims to be the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s Digital Tech Economy to date, showing how the Digital Tech Industries are driving economic growth, employment and regional development:

  • The UK’s Digital Tech Industries are growing 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy (in turnover)
  • The estimated turnover of UK digital tech industries reached £161bn in 2014
  • The Digital Tech Industries are creating employment opportunities and accounting for 1.56M jobs across the UK
  • The UK’s increasingly diverse range of digital skills and specialisms are also now thriving beyond the tech sector – 41% of Digital Tech Economy jobs exist in what are thought of as traditionally non-digital industries – such as the public sector and financial services
  • Over 80% of Tech Nation clusters have seen growth in digital turnover, jobs and advertised digital salaries.

*Gross Value Added (GVA) = Total output (goods or services) minus value of inputs e.g. cost of production, taxes, subsidies (Source:ABS/BSD)

Read the report online

Download the report

Tech Nation Cambridge report 2016


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