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Reading: Second-best city in Europe ranking for tech start-ups

By Dan Teuton
19 June 2020

Reading has been recognised as the second-best city in Europe for tech start-ups in a new report from fdi Intelligence in partnership with The Next Web.

The first-ever European Tech Cities of the Future ranking places Reading behind only London in the Tech Start-Up Environment ranking and 17th overall in Europe as a European Tech City of the Future.

The Start-Up Environment ranking indexes venture capital availability, high-tech employment, university-industry collaboration in R&D and start-up prevalence in a number of tech sub-sectors. Reading ranks above renowned European tech cities such as Paris, Zurich, Munich, Berlin and Cambridge.

Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director of Reading UK, said: “Reading has long been known as a leading European tech city with a host of global tech giants based here. However, what is most heartening about this report is the recognition that Reading is being successful at fostering the next generation of tech innovators.

“Over 300,000 sq ft of co-working space has been developed in Reading in the last three years and Reading now boasts the largest amount of start-up space in the south east outside London.

"Partnership collaborations on projects such as the Curious Lounge - a digital tech training centre/sector network hub  - and the University of Reading-led AI group provide evidence of why Reading is designated one of the Tech Nation Digital Hubs. We also continue to attract significant international investment in tech spaces with just this week the £120 million purchase of Reading International Business Park.

“Most importantly, Reading is increasingly seen as offering an attractive work-life balance by the tech talented millennial generation and with more than 40,000 people working locally in the creative industries Reading is well placed to build on its reputation as a friendly alternative to ultra-urban locations such as Silicon Roundabout.”

The Tech Cities of the Future ranking is focused on finding those European cities with the most promising prospects for start-ups, tech and innovation investment. The ranking recognises cities that excel in a spectrum of categories relating to technological and digital development, in sectors ranging from the economy to healthcare, education and policy. It ranks cities according to economic potential, innovation and attractiveness, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) performance, cost effectiveness and their start-up environment, as well as by broad FDI Strategy.

fdi Intelligence said: “Reading’s success is a testament to the work done to promote the city to international investment and tech start-ups.”

fDi Intelligence is the Financial Times' specialist service for global investment professionals and institutions, providing data and insight to over 15,000 decision makers in the field. fDi Intelligence compared a total of 76 cities for the rankings, with London taking top spot in the overall standings.

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