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Here be startups: exploring a young digital cluster in inner East London

Nathan, Max and Vandore, Emma (2013) Here be startups: exploring a young digital cluster in inner East London. SERC Discussion Papers (SERCDP0146). Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The digital industries cluster known as 'Silicon Roundabout' has been quietly growing in East London since the 1990s. Now rebranded 'Tech City', it is now the focus of huge public and government attention. National and local policymakers wish to accelerate the local area's development: such cluster policies are back in vogue as part of a re-awakened interest in industrial policy in many developed countries. Surprisingly little is known about Tech City's firms or the wider ecosystem, however, and existing cluster policies have a high failure rate. This paper performs a detailed mixed-methods analysis, combining rich enterprise-level data with semi-structured interviews. We track firm and employment growth from 1997-2010 and identify a number of distinctive features: branching from creative to digital content industries, street-level sorting of firms, the importance of local amenities and a lack of conventional cluster actors such as universities or anchor businesses. We also argue that the existing policy mix embodies a number of tensions, and suggest areas for improvement.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publication...
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: L - Industrial Organization > L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
L - Industrial Organization > L5 - Regulation and Industrial Policy > L52 - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M1 - Business Administration > M13 - Entrepreneurship
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
Sets: Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2014 12:49
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 23:25
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Welsh Assembly Government
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/58424

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