Following the recent launch of Tech Nation, we will be running a series of profile pieces on each of the digital clusters featured in the report.
Home to one of the most historic and successful universities on the planet, Cambridge is also one of the most well established technology clusters in the UK. The formation of the Cambridge Consultants in the 1960’s helped create the conditions necessary to commercialise the research capabilities of the university and its students, sparking the area’s innovative identity and intellectual heritage.
This unique identity has been shaped, amongst other factors, by some fourteen $1 billion technology businesses, two of which reached valuations of $10-20 billion (Autonomy and ARM – a university spin-out). Successful companies born and raised in Cambridge are not only hardware focussed, they’re strong in gaming (Frontier Developments, Jagex), software (Bromium, Solarflare), cyber security (Darktrace, Cambridge Intelligence) and digital healthcare (Healx3, BlueGnome).
With an established network of commercial, technical and academic research laboratories, as well as an excellent business support environment with a self-sustaining venture capital market, it could be argued the Cambridge cluster is approaching an area of maturity. The University of Cambridge has been instrumental in creating the pool of world class talent and innovative brains that are necessary to form such a successful digital cluster.
They’ve also committed to supporting the further growth of the cluster through initiatives such as ideaSpace. Furthermore, networks such as Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Network and Cambridge Wireless provide the ideal level of support for a thriving ecosystem. Finally, Cambridge Science Park is constantly expanding its world-class facilities and attracting inward investment from large multi-national corporations such as Microsoft.
Founding Director of ideaSpace, Stewart McTavish, comments: “Cambridge has a very entrepreneurial culture. We formed the ideaSpace accelerator to help people coming out of the university get started on high-impact new ventures.”
Three local companies were profiled in the report:
To find out more information about Greater Manchester’s digital cluster, download the Tech Nation report, view it online or visit our core project partner DueDil’s Online Interactive Guide on the area.