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The quest for a UK Silicon Valley must look beyond London

London Silicon Valley UK

As probably the UK’s largest and most successful celebration of the technology and innovation ecosystem, London Tech Week is undoubtedly a good thing — a chance to convene operators, investors, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to celebrate achievements and point the way ahead. But it is also a missed opportunity to engage and represent the entire country.

This isn’t about dragging London down or simply redistributing the fruits of the capital’s innovation. It’s about recognising the achievements and potential of the many high-quality innovation hubs beyond the boundary of the M25 and bringing them ‘inside the tent’ as part of a more cohesive and truly national ecosystem – one that is fit for accomplishing the government’s mission of making the UK a science and technology superpower on the world stage.

Ironically, Silicon Valley — the original tech and innovation ecosystem as we understand the idea today, and the model the government repeatedly says it wants to emulate here in the UK — has long understood that an ecosystem has to be more than just one city, with the tech community there encompassing the entire Bay Area....