Tech/Start-ups

Gerard Grech: Every city is a tech city

Start-ups

by Joe Curtis| 21 July 2014

And they need to work together, says Tech City UK chief.

Digital innovation is not confined to the capital, according to the CEO of Tech City UK, who has announced plans to build "Digital Britain".

Former BlackBerry exec Gerard Grech yesterday stressed that tech startup scenes across the country must co-operate and share knowledge to create a 'Digital Britain'.

Grech wrote in a Telegraph guest post: "The UK is not so big that we should be worrying about how one city or region rivals the next. Every city is a tech city, with its own unique DNA.

"I like to think of Britain as one big brain, with different tech clusters - like different parts of the brain - talking to each other and sparking off innovation."

Grech, who replaced Joanna Shields as Tech City UK boss at the start of the year, announced the new National Tech Cluster Alliance, to accelerate digital growth by strengthening links between startup scenes.

He said: "Its aim is to accelerate the growth of digital businesses in cities around Britain, share best practices, spread opportunities and link up groups across the country engaged in digital innovation.

"We will raise the game even higher when we start working with each other, to create a national network of digital excellence. We've built Tech City. Now let's build Digital Britain."

Grech pointed to thriving tech scenes including Cambridge, which he said has 1,400 companies employing 53,000 people, adding that particular cities' strengths often complement one another, such as digital media in Manchester and gaming in Newcastle.

Tech City UK is a separate government quango from Tech City, the tech hub in Shoreditch also known as Silicon Roundabout.

Last December, the organisation said that a quarter of all London's job growth came from the tech sector, with prime Minister David Cameron calling it "an engine for growth and innovation".

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