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Manchester makes Europe’s top 20 list for digital innovation

23rd December 2016

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Manchester is a top 20 European digital city according to a recent report which looks at how well different cities support digital entrepreneurship. This report measures how well the city region is doing in supporting fast growth digital companies and start-ups.

The latest European Digital City Index 2016, independently compiled by Nesta, the UK Innovation Foundation, ranked Manchester in 16th place out of 60 cities for young digital companies and start-ups. London, Stockholm and Amsterdam clinched the top three spots.

This is the first time that Manchester has appeared in the Index. This position, ahead of Edinburgh (19), Birmingham (23) and Cardiff (40), recognises the strength of its digital business base and assets which include MediaCityUK, home of the BBC, ITV and over 250 businesses. The vibrancy and successful digital and creative community of the Northern Quarter, which houses over 150 significant start-up companies, was also acknowledged.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Economic Strategy Portfolio Lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “Manchester has always been ambitious. We are on track to become a top 20 global city so it is welcome that Nesta recognises the progress we have made in the digital field.”

Greater Manchester has a notable and diverse start-up and scale up ecosystem which includes specialisms in cyber security, e-commerce and FinTech. Local businesses in the digital sector include Apadmi, UK Fast, MoneySuperMarket, Zen Internet and Misguided, together with Cisco, Hitachi, Talk Talk and Siemens.

Sir Richard Leese added: “Greater Manchester has gained momentum and will no doubt improve its position further with the development of new initiatives through our Internet of Things demonstrator, CityVerve. We’re also very active in creating supportive hubs for software engineers and tech entrepreneurs to enhance our tech ecosystem.”

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Notes to Editors

The European Digital City Index (EDCi) describes how well different European cities support digital entrepreneurship.

It was produced by Nesta as part of the European Digital Forum, which exists to support digital entrepreneurship and digital start-ups across Europe. The European Digital Forum is run in collaboration with the European Commission’s Start-up Europe initiative.

For start-ups and scale-ups, it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources.

For policy makers aiming to encourage digital entrepreneurship in their own city, the Index helps to identify existing and promising hubs of activity, in order to learn from their practices. Additionally, it allows benchmarking of performance against other European hubs, and helps identify which policy areas to prioritise.

Greater Manchester facts

  • According to startups.eu, Manchester has over 51,000 startups which employ nearly 263,000 people
  • In the past decade Manchester’s start-ups have secured £138m of funding.

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