The Cambridge Phenomenon:
an example of a local innovation system
“The Road from R & D to Commercialization – Better Produ...
1
Structure of presentation
 Context
 Historical development of the high tech cluster
 Characteristics of the Cambridge...
The context
 Cambridge sub region –
792,000 population – 11.5%
growth 2001-11, 40% growth
since 1960s
 Greatly improved
...
Historical development of the high tech cluster
Over the last 50 years, the Cambridge Cluster has
developed through severa...
Intellectual Capital
Higher Education
Research Institutions
[Strategic Alliances]
[Informed Networks]
Land, property, infr...
Characteristics of the innovation system -
firms
 In 1984 there were 260 high tech firms employing 13,700 people
 main s...
6
Characteristics of the innovation system –
the research infrastructure
 Cambridge University is outstanding:
 THE 2012...
Characteristics of the innovation system –
funding and specialist services
 Funding technology businesses is difficult ev...
Characteristics of the innovation system –
people
 Working population is highly qualified
 37% with degree level qualifi...
Characteristics of the innovation system –
the physical infrastructure
 Cambridge Science Park established 1970 – now hom...
Planned or market led? (1)
 Much of the growth of the Cambridge cluster was due to
serendipity (e.g. CU’s relaxed attitud...
Planned or market led? (2)
 Government research funding underpins the strength of
Cambridge University and most of the re...
Future prospects
 The key components of a dynamic cluster are in place
 World class research and technology
 Long term ...
Lessons for elsewhere
 Cambridge is unique, but….
 It has exploited its assets very well – better, for example,
than Oxf...
14
Contact
Chris Green
Chief Executive
SQW Group
t. +44 20 7391 4100
e. cgreen@sqwgroup.co.uk
w. www.sqwgroup.com
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2013 cambridge the cambridge phenomenon an example of a local innovation system,chris green, chief executive, sqw group

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2013 cambridge the cambridge phenomenon an example of a local innovation system,chris green, chief executive, sqw group

  1. 1. The Cambridge Phenomenon: an example of a local innovation system “The Road from R & D to Commercialization – Better Productivity Better Jobs” Chris Green, Chief Executive, SQW Group 20th June 2013
  2. 2. 1 Structure of presentation  Context  Historical development of the high tech cluster  Characteristics of the Cambridge innovation system  Is the cluster planned or market led?  Future prospects  Lessons for other places
  3. 3. The context  Cambridge sub region – 792,000 population – 11.5% growth 2001-11, 40% growth since 1960s  Greatly improved connectivity, along with increased congestion  Cambridge’s service centre role has expanded hugely – retail, leisure, business services, etc – part population driven, part development from local to regional role 2
  4. 4. Historical development of the high tech cluster Over the last 50 years, the Cambridge Cluster has developed through several eras:  1960-1985: the silent and “un-hyped” evolution of the boffin-cum- entrepreneur  1985-1995: increasing international profile and growth  1995-2002: dot.com boom and “Cambridge is full”  2003-2008: the new Spatial Plan and the Growth Agenda: investing for substantial growth  2008-2013: local growth in the face of national recession 3
  5. 5. Intellectual Capital Higher Education Research Institutions [Strategic Alliances] [Informed Networks] Land, property, infrastructure Locations affordable housing Flexibility Cost Congestion Environment Services Leisure People Education Training Entrepreneurship Culture (international?) Trust IPR In migration Science Parks, etc Choice or Frustration Knowledge Transfer Spin- outs Inward investors Start- ups Existing firms Money and External Business Expertise Banks Venture Capital Angels Accountants Lawyers Marketing Experts Firms and Sectors Job Satisfaction Local Politics Housing Travel to Work Quality of Life Local UK Global
  6. 6. Characteristics of the innovation system - firms  In 1984 there were 260 high tech firms employing 13,700 people  main sector focus was electronics, instrument engineering, software and technical consultancy  By 2008 there were 1,400 high tech firms employing 48,000 employees  sector focus was increasingly diverse, with particularly rapid growth in biotech, software and telecoms  69% of high tech jobs in the service sector, 31% in manufacturing  Cambridge remains primarily a small firms cluster, although more of the growth and opportunity is being driven by international owners with their own perspectives on the future role of Cambridge  Different business models  more commercialisation through licencing  more soft starts  a renewed focus on manufacturing 5
  7. 7. 6 Characteristics of the innovation system – the research infrastructure  Cambridge University is outstanding:  THE 2012/13 ranked 7th in World overall, 5th in engineering and technology, 2nd in life sciences, 6th in physical sciences  And it has also had a permissive attitude towards IP and a positive attitude towards commercialisation  There are various national research institutes located in and around the city. For example:  The Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology  The Genome Campus – Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute  Babraham Research Institute  Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute  National institute of Agricultural Botany  And various multinationals have located research facilities in Cambridge, including Microsoft, Pfizer, Rolls Royce, Schlumberger, Toshiba
  8. 8. Characteristics of the innovation system – funding and specialist services  Funding technology businesses is difficult everywhere  The financial crisis has reduced the availability of loans and equity investment  VC has declined dramatically, and has a poor track record in the high tech sector over the last 10 years  However, Cambridge has a strong network of experienced business angels, and an improving quality of investment opportunities as entrepreneurs also become more experienced  The technical consultants are an important part of the cluster  Unique concentration in Cambridge area  Important originators of smart ideas with immediate commercial potential  Increasing importance of links with London for funding, and for specialist services 7
  9. 9. Characteristics of the innovation system – people  Working population is highly qualified  37% with degree level qualifications (UK average 32%)  High rate of business start ups – 40% above UK average  Entrepreneurship  Cambridge University Entrepreneurs Society – very active  Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Judge Business School  Good awareness of entrepreneurship in local schools  Stimulated by local success stories  Strong local networks  Private sector led  Constantly changing and developing, informal and formal 8
  10. 10. Characteristics of the innovation system – the physical infrastructure  Cambridge Science Park established 1970 – now home to 100 companies and 1,650,000 sq ft of buildings  Other specialist property followed – by the University and Colleges  St Johns Innovation Park  Peterhouse Techology Park  West Cambridge Research area, including the Hauser Centre  And by the private sector  Granta Park  Cambridge Research Park  Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrookes  In total – 5m sq ft of specialist property, and 5m more in the pipeline 9
  11. 11. Planned or market led? (1)  Much of the growth of the Cambridge cluster was due to serendipity (e.g. CU’s relaxed attitude to IP), and was not planned, and  In some cases, public policy has been unhelpful  Up to 2004, attempts to disperse high tech growth to places firms didn’t want to be  Failure to keep up with infrastructure demands  Current difficulties in getting visas for international recruits  But….. 10
  12. 12. Planned or market led? (2)  Government research funding underpins the strength of Cambridge University and most of the research institutes  The basic infrastructure was crucial  Government funded – M11, A14, rail improvements  College funded – Cambridge Science Park, St John’s Innovation Park, Peterhouse Technology Park  Strategic planning has become much more coherent and supportive of housing and employment growth….and this has meant the Government has been more generous with funding for new infrastucture than in many places 11
  13. 13. Future prospects  The key components of a dynamic cluster are in place  World class research and technology  Long term expansion of CU is assured  Strong firms, experienced entrepreneurs  Expertise and funding to support growth  Specialist property provision  Public policy commitment to growth  Investment by global high tech firms - Microsoft, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca - suggests that Cambridge is doing a lot right  Future is increasingly linked to London and the golden triangle  Big question is whether commitment to, and funding for, growth will be maintained. 12
  14. 14. Lessons for elsewhere  Cambridge is unique, but….  It has exploited its assets very well – better, for example, than Oxford  And it has developed the supporting infrastructure to enable high tech firms to form and grow  “Cambridge is a low risk place to do high risk things” – Andy Richards  But it (along with the rest of UK) is increasingly dependent on London  Too much of the UK’s high level financial, business and professional services capacity is based in London  And the private rather than public sector has been the main driving force for the success of the high tech cluster 13
  15. 15. 14 Contact Chris Green Chief Executive SQW Group t. +44 20 7391 4100 e. cgreen@sqwgroup.co.uk w. www.sqwgroup.com
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