David Cameron Announces Plan To Create Silicon Valley In East End
After the news that Star Wars-style 3D holograms might soon be reality, it was going to take something big to cheer the nation up even more. And, frankly, David Cameron was the last person likely to be the bearer of such esteemed good tidings. But credit where it's due; the man with the smoothest complexion in politics announced some great news today.
Tech giants Facebook and Google will invest in the East End of London to help kickstart the development of Britain's own Silicon Valley rival, the PM announced earlier.
He told gathered press that he wants to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America:
"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."
In the last three years, there's been a 700% growth in tech companies starting up in East London; a huge figure but realistically one that highlights how it's early days for the area. The claim that London will rival Silicon Valley is an ambitious and slightly unrealistic one but nevertheless it's hugely exciting.
For a full transcript of the speech, head over to Wired's website.