Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How do we monitor the health of the Technopole?

Following the takeover of Library House by Dow Jones, it is not clear whether or not there will be any further Cambridge Cluster Reports. These reports provided one very helpful indication of the absolute and relative health of the Technopole, with a particular focus on VC-backed (and VC-backable) innovation-based firms. If these annual reports are no longer going to be produced, what other sources of data are there on the Technopole? There are several other sources of metrics on the health of the Technopole, but none provide a complete and 'live' picture. Examples available include:
There are also several externally captured sources of data on the Technopole providing sometimes useful comparative data (though some of these external groups do sometimes choose rather strange indicators resulting in the Cambridge Technopole's performance either being over-inflated or overlooked).
There could be real value for policymakers if we could identify what metrics are useful, how to capture them, and working out a way to feed them into some sort of live ‘Technopole Dashboard’. Maybe most of the needed metrics are already out there. If anyone has views on what the most appropriate metrics are, the best source of them, and how we could develop this 'dynamic dashboard' your ideas would be most welcome.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Welcome to the Cambridge Technopole Blog

The Cambridge high tech cluster seems to have reached an important juncture in its development. Recent news headlines provide a flavour of struggles, resilience and on-going renewal of the cluster:
Several factors - some internal, some external - are likely to have an impact the future success of the cluster. Externally, the credit crunch is impacting investment into high tech start-ups and constraining the spend of their customers. Internally, the 'founding fathers' of the Cambridge Phenomenon (the key individuals who, by their actions, have 'set the tone' for the way Cambridge operates) are now passing the baton to a new generation of business leaders to put their mark on the next stage of development of the cluster. But what will be the long term impact for Cambridge of the credit crunch? How will the new generation of entrepreneurs and investors rise to the challenge of ensuring Cambridge emerges from this downturn stronger and better able to weather future storms?
What factors will influence the development of the cluster in the short and long term is not clear, but this is a critical juncture for the on-going development of the cluster. In this blog in the coming months we are going to capture, share and discuss some of the diverse viewpoints relating to these challenges and opportunities.