Following the recent launch of Tech Nation, we are running a series of profile pieces on each of the digital clusters featured in the report.
Oxford has witnessed incredible digital success in recent years with Natural Motion Games, Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory acquired by Zynga and Google respectively. World-leading academic institutions in the area provide tech startups with exceptional talent and there are now nearly 22,000 people in digital employment in the area and 79% report good access to social networks.
Established digital sectors which are established in the Oxford cluster are Big Data and Cyber Security, although in recent years there has been an increasing presence of EdTech and HealthTech companies. Instrumental to the rise in the level of technical variation are the support organisations which have sprung up in the city, such as Digital Health Oxford and Digital Oxford.
The student community is also a core driving force behind the innovation which is taking place and Oxford Entrepreneurs, a student society based in Saïd Business School, claims to be the largest student entrepreneur society in the world. Also housed in the department was Venturefest‘s 2014 innovation conference, to be housed there again this year, bringing together high tech businesses from across the UK.
In addition to world-leading universities, local academic centres of excellence include three science parks, the University of Oxford’s e-Research Centre, the long established Computer Science Department, and the Isis Innovation software incubator.
Dave Fletcher, Chair of Digital Oxford, commented: “There are lots of startups across all sectors in Oxford, and an increasingly vibrant community – though it is not always easy to see from the outside.”
Three local companies were featured in the report: