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Thread: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

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    News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    The PM will make a speech today outlining plans for East London Tech City, with Intel and Google among investors.
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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    If Cameron said he wants London to rival Silicon Valley, and I doubt if he was naive enough to have said quite that, then I'd say I want to win the Euro lottery roll-over, three times, achieve peace on Earth and eliminate world-wide poverty, find a cure for all cancer and the common cold and tour the nearest half dozen star systems on the USS Enterprise .... and to do it by Saturday week. And I have a better chance of getting what I want than London does of rivalling Silicon Valley.

    Can we achieve a lot of technological improvements and innovations, and narrow the gap? Potentially, yeah, given enough money and the right infrastructure. But wait .... don't we have a "deficit reduction program" in place, something about "austerity measures"?


    The quotes in that article did highlight one thing Cameron said that, if done correctly, would be a large step in the right direction, which is
    "The second new announcement I can make today is to do with intellectual property. The founders of Google have said they could never have started their company in Britain. The service they provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States.

    "Over there [in the USA], they have what are called ‘fair-use' provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services. So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America."
    The IP review done under Labour did make some proposals that would have been a damn good step (IMHO) but Labour fluffed it in the actual legislation.

    It's about time IP law caught up with technology, and I don't just mean "fair use/dealing" rights being some kind of personal piracy charter, but it needs to reflect 21st century realities, not 19th Century ones.

    But conversely, there's currently a row about whether the UK can get the researchers and scientific brains it needs past the implications of the proposed new immigration policy and cap. One (proposed) step forwards, but three back?

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    If Cameron said he wants London to rival Silicon Valley, and I doubt if he was naive enough to have said quite that, then I'd say I want to win the Euro lottery roll-over, three times, achieve peace on Earth and eliminate world-wide poverty, find a cure for all cancer and the common cold and tour the nearest half dozen star systems on the USS Enterprise .... and to do it by Saturday week. And I have a better chance of getting what I want than London does of rivalling Silicon Valley.
    That's the spirit!

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Didn't they already try this with 'Silicon Glen' to rejuvenate parts of Wales. Surely supporting/improving on what you have (if any of it is left - I don't actually know) would be better than trying to start from scratch.

    Meanwhile, anything they do with a focus on 'Nodnol' would again be detracting from any tech-related efforts elsewhere in the country and become another part of the London-centric policy view. If a clean start is genuinely needed, there are other internationally recognized UK cities with good transport links that could benefit from this kind of boost instead. Cambridge (smaller but for the Uni- ties + rep), Edinburgh, Manchester, B'ham...

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    All good points, Tpyo.

    I love the choice of username by the way. Made me laugh.

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    This is all good and well, but what about Silicon Fen?

    The area around Cambridge is already one of the world leaders in technology development and - if memory serves - is the highest concentration of venture capital investment outside of Silicon Valley itself.

    Why invest all of this money in developing something that will rival what we already have, instead of improving transport links up to the Fens and getting people to set up there?

    Otherwise, I'm all for pumping in some money and getting these big companies to set up shops here. Science and research is what Britain is supposed to be good at, so I support anything that will help to put us back on the map for high-tech R&D.

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Another good point, BullDogg.

    I'd also suggest that, right now, we want to be careful what we invest and where we invest it, both geographically and in terms of industrial sector. We need to broaden the economy and boost manufacturing, but in those areas where economies of scale have forced manufacturing overseas, trying to win that back with our cost structure would be an expensive exercise in futility. We also need to aware that if we develop and build technologies, many of them will be subject to manufacturing vanishing overseas for exactly the same reason as many others previously have.

    So we need to boost long-term infrastructure for growth, but preferably do it in areas that are both significant growth areas (not niche markets) and where the barriers to entry, either in terms of staff quality, or capital investment (or both), are high. And remember that foreign companies can easily hire the quality staff.

    So I certainly support the idea of being at the leading edge of technology and innovation, be it "silicon" or otherwise (like biochemical and genetic, medical, nuclear, green energy tech, or whatever), be it London, Cambridge, the Reading/Bristol area, or wherever. But we need to be smart and realistic about what we seek to do, and how we do it, and I just worry that too much of the coalition plans smack of headline-grabbing policy announcements, and we've yet to see much follow-through.

    I hope all this is not the political equivalent of a beef-burger ad where the picture shows you a succulent piece of prime beef, with crisp lettuce, and the reality is semi-stale bun containing a slither of old boot leather and something green and vague limp that may or may not share a genetic heritage with a lettuce plant.

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by BullDogg View Post
    This is all good and well, but what about Silicon Fen?

    The area around Cambridge is already one of the world leaders in technology development and - if memory serves - is the highest concentration of venture capital investment outside of Silicon Valley itself.

    Why invest all of this money in developing something that will rival what we already have, instead of improving transport links up to the Fens and getting people to set up there?

    Otherwise, I'm all for pumping in some money and getting these big companies to set up shops here. Science and research is what Britain is supposed to be good at, so I support anything that will help to put us back on the map for high-tech R&D.
    Exactly my point only from someone who actually knows the details.

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    London???? Why - its hard enough to buy a house there as it is. Why not some where with lower employment to rejuvenate the area.

    Also as software developer I decide right after graduating NOT to get a job in London - living in Southampton is urban enough for me.
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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Surprise surprise, just as long as London is alright screw the rest of the country as always. Why don't we just make the M25 border for the country of London official? They could even choose to have their own clock times if they want so they can play nice with the frogs without dragging the rest of the country into it.

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    Re: News - David Cameron wants London to rival Silicon Valley

    Cameron, can we get good decent stable broadband before we become silicon valley? Thanks much

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