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:
- Cambridge Index – monitoring publicly quoted firms in the Technopole.
- GCP Annual Review – monitoring the sub-region's economy, people and places.
- County Council Annual Reviews - county level economic data.
- Insight East – regional level economic data.
- Level of activity of Cambridge Enterprise - data on technology transfer from the University of Cambridge.
- Commercial lettings - regional reports such as those provided by Savills.
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.