Cambridge 'can produce many more $10 billion companies'
Telecommunications entrepreneur David Cleevely has argued at a meeting attended by Prince Andrew that the area’s potential should be promoted “more aggressively”.
The meeting was held on Tuesday by some of the biggest names in the Cambridge technology industry. Speaking to Business Weekly, Cleevely, a fellow at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory and a former PhD student, argued that Cambridge “can produce many more $10 billion companies, with the right investment”. Describing Cambridge as home to “a can do culture, the supportive networks, world class technology in hi-tech, bio and engineering”, Cleevely claimed that as more and more companies begin to increase their value, investors will be persuaded to “cross the Rubicon” and support local high-tech business.
For years the Cambridge area has been seen as a centre for technology and science start-ups, with clusters of high-tech companies often associated with the university setting up and finding success. The area has been nicknamed the ‘Silicon Fen’ after California’s Silicon Valley. Well known Cambridge success stories include the microprocessor company ARM, founded in 1990 and now worth billions, whose chips are found in products around the world including the iPhone and iPad.
The comments came during a tour of the Cambridge technology sector by Prince Andrew, at the headquarters of Abcam, a biotech company based in the Cambridge Science Park which specialises in the commercial application of research into antibodies. Jim Warwick, Abcam’s chief operating officer said that the visit “comes at an exciting time for Abcam as we take huge strides towards becoming the world’s leading supplier of life science research tools” and noted the company had customers in more than 130 countries.
The Duke, who until last year acted as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, also visited Ubisense, a geo-location technology company and the winner of two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise earlier this year. Richard Green, CEO, had praise for the area as a high-tech hub:
“We have found Cambridge to be a terrific place from which to build a global business focused around the Manufacturing and Utilities industries. We are delighted that His Royal Highness has such a keen interest in our industry, and to be able to show him why 94% of our revenues are generated overseas from some of the most successful corporations in the world”.