David Cameron today announced his vision for a ‘Silicon Valley’ in the East End of London. The high-tech hub to be based at the site of the Olympic village after 2012 has already attracted investment opportunities from top firms including ‘Facebook’, ‘Google’ and ‘Intel’.
Mr Cameron announced the news to entrepreneurs and investors, stating how he wanted London’s East End to rival Silicon Valley in California and evolve into the “world’s greatest technology centres”.
"We're not just going to back the big businesses of today, we're going to back the big businesses of tomorrow," he goes onto say.
"We are firmly on the side of the high-growth, highly innovative companies of the future. Don't doubt our ambition.”
"Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for hi-tech growth and innovation. But there's no reason why it has to be so predominant. Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world's great technology centres."
David Cameron is planning to publish a blueprint for technology designed to make Britain "the most attractive place in the world to start and invest in innovative technology companies".
This comes on the back of Google stating that it could never have set up in Britain due to strict regulations.
Mr Cameron has also announced a US style visa for foreign entrepreneurs looking to start up in the UK. Applicants would be required to have received investment toward their idea from investors, prior to getting it.
This is not the first time that the UK has reportedly found an alternative to the Valley, in the 80’s it was Bristol, Cambridge and the M4 corridor have been touted as possible venues but the latest ‘Silicon Valley’ seems to be naturally being built around Old Street roundabout.
With over a 100 young start ups and technology firms looking to take advantage of lower rent prices, this area has become the closest the UK has got to the valley and on its own right.
As much as I think this is a good idea, it is just theory and whether or not it will develop into something of the level of what they have in America, I am doubtful. At least though entrepreneurs are certainly being thought about and that can only be a good thing.
As well as investing in the area, there is a certainly culture which they have on the west side of America which will be hard to replicate. It is an interesting project and it will be interesting to see how it develops, but whatever happens it will take a quite a few years to establish itself to the level of the ‘Valley’.
So what are your thoughts? Good Idea?