Prime Minister David Cameron has set out the government's ambition for London's East End to become a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley.
Vodafone, Google, Facebook, Intel and McKinsey & Co are among the leading companies that have said they will commit to invest in the long-term future of the area.
In a speech to high tech business leaders and entrepreneurs in East London today, Mr Cameron also announced that the Olympic Park press and broadcast centres will live on beyond the 2012 Games as an ‘accelerator space’ offering flexible office space, facilities and expertise.
The plans are part of Government’s programme to create new jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable economic growth.
The PM said:
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.
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. 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. I want to show you how we can get there.
For the past few weeks and months, we have had dozens of meetings with technology companies and venture capital investors from across the world. We said to them: “Here’s our vision for East London tech city - a hub that stretches from Shoreditch and Old Street to the Olympic Park. This is what local businesses are saying they need. What part can you play in making it happen?” I have to say: the response has been overwhelming.
A raft of other measures were also announced to improve the climate for technology and entrepreneurialism in the UK. These include an Entrepreneur Visa to enable people with good business ideas and financial backing to set up their business in the UK, and an independent six-month review of the Intellectual Property framework. UK Trade & Investment will also establish a presence in East London.
A blueprint for technology was published today which aims to send a clear message to UK-based innovative and technology companies about the direction of Government policy in supporting and promoting innovative businesses.
Read more about the Blueprint for Technology and download the document on the Department for Business website
Speeches and transcripts: East End tech city speech
Press notice: PM announces East London Tech City