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The North West Digital Tech Cluster


The North West Digital Tech Cluster

The Digital Tech Sector employs around 1.6m people in the UK and added £151bn to the UK economy in 2019. Over 34,000 new tech businesses were created in 2018 alone, and the UK attracted more international venture capital investment into technology businesses in 2020 than France and Germany combined (Tech Nation Report 2021). A fast growing and vibrant sector, it is dominated by start-up and scale-up companies in the UK. Digital technology businesses are drivers of economic growth and recovery, supporting high-quality jobs in other sectors of the economy.

The launch of the Digital Tech Cluster, hosted at the National Science and Innovation Campus, Sci-Tech Daresbury, will drive collaborative R&D and innovation. It will support adoption of digital technologies, products and services. It will work with organisations across diverse sectors to unlock the transformative potential of these technologies, helping to build and strengthen UK capability in strategically important areas and support future job creation and growth. Market and technology agnostic, the Cluster will support product-based digital tech businesses. This will enable the growth of a collaborative, organic ecosystem that is anchored to these businesses and the nationally significant strengths and capabilities of both Sci-Tech Daresbury and the wider North West region. It will engage the expansive economy and seize opportunities to address common challenges.

The cluster model being implemented by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is an established tool that draws on the geographical and sector strengths of a given location. Vibrant clusters, such as the established clusters in Health, Energy and Space at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus and Health-Tech at Sci-Tech Daresbury, are highly connected and collaborative communities of like-minded public and private organisations, attracting investment, talented workers, research institutions and innovative businesses to a region. These dynamic systems help create jobs, drive growth and generate productivity in the local area and enable economic growth and job creation in all parts of the UK. The clusters at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury leverage world-leading strengths in R&D, world-class multidisciplinary facilities and thriving business communities on a scale large enough to have global impact.

Sci-Tech Daresbury provides opportunities for companies to use cutting-edge technologies to develop and improve products, and boost productivity. The Hartree Centre is part of STFC and is home to some of the most technically advanced high performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence experts in the UK.  In 2021, a new investment in the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation was announced, a £210M partnership with IBM, that will help businesses to unlock the power of advanced and emerging digital technologies. The Digital Tech Cluster will leverage the expertise at Sci-Tech Daresbury, the diverse strengths of the Liverpool City Region and links to tech hubs in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire to create an environment for growth and a supportive community, which enables digital tech companies to achieve global success.

View the Digital Tech Cluster at Sci-Tech Daresbury brochure here

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