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Birmingham is located in the centre of the UK with connections to all major cities across Europe and the rest of the world, and provides exceptional technological infrastructure at an affordable cost, supported by a highly skilled talent pool and leading national universities. This winning combination creates a perfect ecosystem for tech innovators, start-ups, scale-ups and creatives.
The presence of major companies and a young, diverse population, means that Birmingham is already recognised as a leading tech hub for progressive thinkers and a rich entrepreneurial environment. Acclaimed as number one in the UK for start-ups for four years running, the city offers all the benefits of an international location without the high costs that can quickly drain resources.
The city boasts a strong support system providing advice and guidance for all matters property, business, introductions, networking, recruitment, training, PR, marketing and funding-related opportunities.
The city of Birmingham has one of the most culturally diverse and highly skilled tech workforces in the UK with 40,000 employees in the sector, and 20 local universities, within one hour of Birmingham, three of which are world-renowned and located right at the city’s core.
Within the universities there are over 100 tech and digital Business Centres of Excellence, with more than 110,000 graduates each year.
As a destination, Greater Birmingham is an international city that competes highly with all other major European cities. Commercial property is less expensive than any other leading UK city, yet the quality of life and infrastructure is world class.
The region is going through an unprecedented period of transformation, and is leading growth and development trends in the UK. With record levels of infrastructure investment, international recognition and countless opportunities for companies to thrive in the region, there has never been a better time to be based in Greater Birmingham.
“As a place to start a tech company, Birmingham is brillint. the most important reason for us is that we’ve been able to find top talent, both experienced software engineers and graduates, from Birmingham’s many universities.” Nick Holzherr, Whisk
Greater Birmingham’s reputation as a tech hub is growing. The city is already home to 7,500 tech firms employing over 40,000 people, with tech firms boosting the economy by £2.3 billion every year.
With creativity at the heart of the region, Birmingham contains more digital and creative companies than any regional city in the UK. The creative hubs surrounding Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter have developed into the perfect ecosystem allowing digital and creative firms, studios, and supporting service companies to prosper.
Birmingham hosts a number of Centres of Excellence in the film and animation industry, including the innovative Creative Skillset Media Academy and the Visual Communication Research Group.
More leading businesses are choosing Birmingham as their innovation centre. The BBC Guerrilla Unit is located in Fazeley Studios, Digbeth – the BBC’s innovation team responsible for owning and defining the direction for projects such as iPlayer and BB3’s digital only service.
Leading online retail brand ASOS demonstrates the region’s growing influence within digital media and e commerce. By opening a new office in the Custard Factory in Digbeth in 2013, the firm took advantage of several high growth clusters in the area that provide talent, support and an ideal environment for both tech start ups and digital arms of larger corporations.
John Lewis, one of the UK’s leading retailers has also chosen Birmingham as its home for their innovation lab.
The University of Birmingham has been named the ‘leading light’ in the digital sub-sector of serious games pertaining to defence and healthcare, and ranked number one University for Computer Science in 2014 by The
Guardian Newspaper in the UK.
The breadth of creative talent and affordable, dynamic locations in the region have led to some of the country’s leading software firms choosing Birmingham, sitting alongside a strong pedigree of local, highly innovative companies, national heavyweights, R&D departments, start-ups and digital SME’s too.
A large number of Centres of Excellence can also be found within the region, including the Digital Image Centre of Excellence and the CRNI (Collaborative Research Network in Imaging and Visualisation) both based at the University of Birmingham.
The University of Birmingham is instrumental in developing forward thinking, new initiatives and has established several centres for support. Its School of Computer Science is an official Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) authorised by the UK government.
This is a national scheme that is supported jointly by GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), RCUK (Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme) and BEIS (Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy).
Additionally, its Human Interface Technologies (HIT) team is a pioneer in the development, evaluation and uptake of virtual reality and telepresence/ telerobotic technologies.
The university is also noted for establishing the Institute for Digital Experience and Applications, Visual Communication Research Group and Centre for Disruptive Media.
Within less than one hour of the city, 45,000 students are studying tech, digital media or creative subjects each year.
Birmingham hosts several Centres of Excellence within the film and animation industry including the Creative Skillset Media Academy and the Visual Communication Research Group. Both are located at Birmingham City University, which houses four professional standard TV studios, and the largest fixed standing green screen studio in the whole of Europe. Leading media brands located in the city include a variety of specialists including Maverick TV, Comux, Product Resource Group (PRG), and Yamination, and several media innovation specialists within fields such as VR, AR, and MR.