London Olympic Site to Become the Next Silicon Valley?
There have been numerous attempts over the years to create ‘the next Silicon Valley’ – but as yet none have quite mastered the sheer dominance of the densely populated high-tech arena in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay.
It’s easy to see why everyone wants a slice of the action. Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most influential IT companies – including Apple, Google, Facebook, HP, Intel, Cisco, eBay and Adobe, among many others.
Today, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that East London could provide the setting for a “technological ecosystem” to rival Silicon Valley – assuming it gets the right government support.
The 2012 Olympic Village will set the scene, and the likes of Google, Facebook and Intel are already reportedly planning to set up a base at the new e-village.
Speaking at Shoreditch this afternoon, David Cameron said: “Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for high-tech growth and innovation. But there’s no reason why it has to be so predominant.
“We’re not just going to back the big businesses of today, we’re going to back the big businesses of tomorrow. We are firmly on the side of the high-growth, highly innovative companies of the future. Don’t doubt our ambition.”
He added that the government’s 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.
“I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America,” he said.
According to Sky News, Facebook vice president Joanna Shields commented that the move “will give start-ups and innovators in the UK a home to realise their ambitions as part of the London 2012 Olympics legacy”.
However the Olympic site is not the first to be earmarked for ‘the next Silicon Valley’, as other locations including Cambridge (dubbed ‘Silicon Fen’), and ‘Silicon Glen’ in Scotland have also received significant investments in the technology sector.