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October 23, 2012

Can the new technology centre at Olympic park rival Silicon Valley?

Technology companies are targeting the Olympic park as a new ground for innovation and development.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

The UK government has increasingly focused on developing a space where aspiring UK tech companies can flourish and have support.

The new tech centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford is expected to inspire and encourage an atmosphere of innovation that will make London a rival of Silicon Valley.

The announcement of Facebook’s vice president and EMEA managing director leaving the silicon based company to join the Tech City Investment Organisation is a step in the right direction for the UK becoming a globally competitive tech destination.

"I’m delighted that Joanna is joining the Tech City Investment Organisation," said Prime Minister, David Cameron, in a statement about Shield’s hire. "The success of Tech City shows just what can happen when we back some of our most innovative and aspiring companies to grow, helping the UK compete and thrive in the global race. Joanna’s experience will be hugely valuable in supporting Tech City as it goes from strength to strength, and as a Business Ambassador promoting the UK around the world."

Shields says she believes London can be the world’s best location for tech.

Industry leaders, however, say that in order for the UK to compete with the U.S. investment in British tech start-ups need to increase.

"With the Olympic motto ‘inspire a generation’ still ringing in our ears, the Olympic park in Stratford would serve as the ideal location to kick-start at tech revolution in Britain," said Dan Wagner, CEO and chairman of mPowa. "This is the sort of innovation that could turn the tide on our nation’s debt. In the past there as has been a chronic lack of investment in British tech start-ups and considering that Britain is equipped with some of the brightest minds in technology, there really is no excuse for a lack of innovation."

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Investments like Cisco’s $500m to help spur entrepreneurship within the UK are helping Tech city move in the right direction.

Cisco’s Big Initiative aims to create innovation centres to show technology while building up businesses and communities. One of the innovation centres will be in Shoreditch, East London’s growing tech area and the other at the Olympic park.

The centre at the Olympic park will focus on a community working to develop and demonstrate new technology for London that will also connect with other cities.

"Britain must strive to compete with the US and the other emerging markets by means of matching their technological advances or face a struggle to return to a period of measurable growth," said Wagner. "Israel, through its state backed venture capital program Yozma, attracts more venture capital per capita than France and Germany combined. When the government realises the importance of a thriving technology industry, it is an important step to creating growth in genuine growth areas. With this in mind, Britain has reason to be optimistic about the future."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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