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Munich named Europe's leading tech hub in dubious EU survey

Researchers choose to look at tiny pocket of London

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Munich, not London, has been named Europe’s leading tech hub in a questionable report released by the European Commission this week.

The findings, published in the 140-page Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe report, saw the European Commission compare a small part of East London to entire cities across Europe. 

"Inner London – East" (presumably the area focused around Old Street's Silicon Roundabout) came second behind Munich, while Paris took third place. 

But comparing a small part of East London to the whole of Munich, Paris and other cities, is "like comparing apples to oranges", according to one source who wished to remain anonoymous.

Indeed, it means the report has neglected to take into account London's other flourishing tech clusters, such as Croydon, King's Cross and Canary Wharf

The report ranked regions on their overall business activity, research & development and IT innovation, considering 42 factors in the process, such as turnover growth, number of employees, international partnerships and networking.

Munich came top in ICT research & development, 3rd in ICT innovation and 4th in business activity, while Inner London –East ranked 5th in research & development, 9th in innovation, but 1st in business activity.

David Slater, director of international business development at the Mayor of London's promotional of office, London & Partners, said: “London has a flourishing, world-class tech sector, and Tech City is the biggest and most important European cluster. We have immense strengths, such as our deep pool of talent and exceptional access to markets and capital, while London leads the world in areas such as fintech, adtech and visual effects.

"Major tech companies from around the world continue to be attracted to our city in order to take advantage of what London can offer, and as a result I remain very confident that London will continue to be the digital hub of Europe.”

Interestingly, Berlin, often compared to London and considered by many to be one of the leading global tech hubs, was ranked 15th. Other UK cities to make the list included Cambridge in sixth place, Oxford and Edinburgh at 19 and 20, while the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey also get a mention.

These areas were included due to their strong universities, suggesting that academic excellence was a major factor in the report.

Inner London – East was ranked as 18th for its universities, leaving a number of the city's leading academic institutions out of the equation, including academic powerhouses like University College London, Imperial College London and King's College London. 

Strangely, the European Commission found Gwynedd, a small town in North Wales, to be the continent’s best university region. 


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