Google Campus opened by Chancellor George Osborne

 
Google Campus offices The Google Campus will house newly established technology start-ups

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The UK will become the "technology centre of Europe", Chancellor George Osborne has vowed.

He was speaking at the opening of Google Campus, a new centre offering desk space and mentoring for technology companies.

Mr Osborne said Campus was part of a wider effort to "create the next generation of British technologies".

However, some UK start-ups outside of the capital have accused the government of being too London-centric.

Google's Eze Vidra described the opening as a "transformational moment for the UK start-up community".

Campus is situated in the Old Street area of east London, an area dubbed the Silicon Roundabout.

The new building incorporates existing co-working space TechHub, which has now moved out of its original premises.

On the building's sixth floor is SeedCamp, an early stage investment programme which puts cash into about 20 fledgling technology companies a year.

Partnership

Mr Osborne said the work between Google and the government's Tech City initiative was the first of several partnerships needed to give the sector sufficient support.

Start Quote

This is the path we need to take to create new jobs”

End Quote George Osborne Chancellor

"This partnership model is absolutely in line with our approach to Tech City," he said.

"The government doesn't believe you can click your fingers and create a technology cluster. Wherever possible, our approach is to go with the grain of what's already happening."

He said that since the Tech City initiative was launched in 2010, the number of technology firms in the area had risen from 200 to 700.

Further plans to bring research and development companies to the area would mean the UK remained at the "very cutting edge of innovation", the chancellor said.

"We want the UK to become the hub for technology in Europe as a whole.

"This is the path we need to take to create new jobs, new growth, and new prosperity in every corner of this country."

The North

However, while the Silicon Roundabout area is recognised as the UK's biggest start-up hub, it is by no means the only cluster of firms in the country.

Some technology companies, particularly those in the North, feel that the government should take steps to avoid projects like Tech City acting in isolation.

"We're an incredibly weightless industry, so a single location seems counterintuitive," said John Hart, communications manager for Sunderland Software City, an industry body supporting tech start-ups.

Stephanie McGovern takes a tour of Google's Tech Campus in London

"In the North East we're really strong on business support technology, and renewable industry, so there's real opportunity for the government to connect those opportunities more than they are doing at the moment."

However, Martin Bryant, managing editor of The Next Web, said emerging hubs must prove themselves before big firms would begin to move in.

"I'm not at all disgruntled or annoyed that Google would set up in London," he told the BBC.

"It makes perfect sense. It's where all the investment is.

"I think what the North has to do is earn its chops in terms of credibility. The North needs to do something for itself before Google comes along."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 47.

    I cry when I think of the brilliant innovation of Tommy Flowers, & where his ideas came from nowhere & couldnt be quantified. Yet, even when reified, his idea was dumped down a coal mine when itd served its purpose. Instead of building on these types of ideas, its all about short term gain for the max profit in the UK. The UK needs Google because the UK is a spineless investor in its OWN ideas!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 46.

    "Further plans to bring research and development companies to the area would mean the UK remained at the "very cutting edge of innovation" said Osbourne.

    Shame we dont have a reliable water supply to hone the cutting edge.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 45.

    We all know what George Osborne uses the internet for.

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 44.

    If George had any desire to make the UK the European epicentre for Technology he will have to put his hands deep into his pockets and back British research with Billions (£) hard cash! The UK needs to invest into actual ground breaking science and engineering.Skylon from Reaction Engines is a prime example of ground breaking British r&d that needs real and sustained government investment.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 43.

    6. "The Tech hub sounds like a US information gathering centre for Europe they already check everything their citizens do.."

    and on Europeans too, their 'information gathering centre':
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echelon_(signals_intelligence)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 42.

    This is an important initative. Will it get as much cover on the media as 'pastygate'? Absolutely not. The media are focused on ridiculing the government not reporting on the good work they are doing.
    (This from a non-Conservative voter)

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 41.

    "38.Jeremy
    "Go with the grain of what's already happening". This roughly translates as "jump on board any particular initiative that looks promising and pretend that you are a visionary founding father of it"."

    So you advocate looking at something that works, do the opposite, fail miserably but wear a smug grin?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 40.

    37. shillo
    There's a graffiti-esque painting on the wall in form of a plaque.

    Also, the tech industry looks quite different 'on the ground' in the UK to what's being written about here - we're not second rate and competing quite nicely globally. Shame that a lot of commentators here don't seem to understand what's going on...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 39.

    Donald I concur...Pathetic, weak and sneering politician there on contacts, background and nepotism alone just like his mate next door. What a load of tosh the tech degrees on offer in the UK are second rate compared to Europe and much cheaper locations outside London. East London is a congested, overpriced concrete jungle with a transient, lowskilled population lacking basic literacy...

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 38.

    "Go with the grain of what's already happening". This roughly translates as "jump on board any particular initiative that looks promising and pretend that you are a visionary founding father of it".

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 37.

    Which tax change resulted in him getting the opportunity to open this.

    I hope there isn't a plaque because the way the economy is going there will be many a wry grin as people pass it for generations to come.

  • rate this
    +20

    Comment number 36.

    The UK has become far too "finance-centric". Granted SOME investment in tech' takes place but hardly enough to create a dynamic virtual industry or even a down to Earth hardware manufacturing base too! Grads leaving Uni with good eng' & science degrees forced into a City career as a) debts up to their eyeballs & b) no tech or wider science base in the UK to pay off those debts! Hammered both ways!

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 35.

    26.
    Bauer"London London London London London London..... There are actually quite a few other towns and cities outside of London you know"


    Having attained only a 2nd in his chosen subject of history it is possibly a little much to expect Osbourne to know much about geography.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 34.

    Might as well hire Ozzy Osbourne in place of George Osborne for all he knows on the subject.

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 33.

    The reason the tories want all our internet access to go through London is so that they can turn it off when they don't like what is being said about them. I believe China uses a similar system.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 32.

    "The UK will become the "technology centre of Europe", Chancellor George Osborne has vowed."

    where 0.5M is considered broadband 'speed' and email delivery may be faster by hand -- risible.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 31.

    The UK will never be a hub for technology when the back end support, the infrastructure, and capacity for expansion simply is not invested in. We're still in a situation where some people are on 512Mb broadband for crying out loud.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 30.

    To all those 'complaining' about London receiving all the interest - do something about it. Set up your own co-working spaces / technology hubs - easily done if focus is internet business. These initiatives are pushed through by individuals and private companies, not by governments.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 29.

    Design in the U.K with our tax money {grants}= made abroad= NO SKILLED JOBS in the U.K. waste of public money

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 28.

    I wish the government would get their nose out of the internetin every shape form and fashion!

 

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