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Mapping digital tech clusters in Tech Nation 2016

In Tech Nation 2016, we are working with Tech City UK to measure and map the UK tech economy.

This year Nesta is delighted to be partnering with the tech cluster development body, Tech City UK on its ambitious Tech Nation mapping of the UK’s digital tech sector. We are the Analytical Partner in the project: our role is to create a dataset that reflects the reality of the tech economy in the UK today, and analyse it to generate insights relevant for local and national policymakers, and people in industry.

In order to do this, we are working with big data business analytics company Growth Intelligence, the core data partner for the project. Growth Intelligence will apply their machine learning algorithms to firm-level data, including website content, to identify tech companies in the UK, and help us generate a taxonomy of tech companies capturing the fast-moving nature of digital technologies and markets, and allowing us to produce the richest and most rigorous quantitative mapping to date of this important part of the UK economy.

We are getting additional data from other data partners for the project, as well as relevant web platforms and open and official data sources with the goal of gaining a deep understanding of the capabilities, resources and networks that drive success in tech ecosystems.

Tech Nation 2016 has a strong focus on skills and talent, and we will be combining official information about university graduates with data from new sources such as Meetup.com and GitHub to measure local talent pools and their capabilities, acquired in formal education and strengthened via peer-to-peer networks.

When analysing our data we will also draw on a large set of semi-structured telephone interviews conducted by Nesta qualitative researchers, and on the findings of Tech City UK’s online survey that is currently in the field.

Together, these data strands will provide us with unprecedented data to map, analyse and understand the needs of the UK’s digital tech businesses. As well as further raising the profile of innovative clusters in the eyes of policymakers, suppliers, investors, educators and talent, we hope the project will serve as a prototype for how big data mapping can support innovation.

Author

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics

Hasan leads Nesta's creative and digital economy policy and research.

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Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Director of Innovation Mapping

Juan leads a team of data scientists, developers, visualisers and innovation experts who use new datasets, analytics methods and visualisation tools to inform innovation policy.

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