Great British innovation: the South West goes stateside
By Paul Moorby
In early June I joined a handful of innovative Bristol businesses on a visit to the United States – touring the East Coast’s major business and financial centres to network and learn about the latest business opportunities.
The North Eastern seaboard is home to some of America’s most admired companies and is a driving force behind the national economy. The area is also home to seven of America’s top 10 universities and two of its busiest airports, making it a compelling market opportunity for businesses like ours.
A smart move
The South West’s trade delegation was led by Bristol’s city Mayor Marvin Rees and West of England Metro Mayor Tim Bowles. Businesses such as Sparkol and YellowDog joined the delegation to represent South West innovation and Chipside was invited specifically to engage with the Boston and Chicago business ecosystem around connected city innovation.
In 2018 Bristol was named alongside London as one of Britain’s leading smart cites. As a global megacity London operates on a different scale than any other UK conurbation and benefits from its global economic power. Bristol’s competitive advantage lies in its vision and world-leading city-networking project, Bristol Is Open.
Navigant Consulting depicts this as, “a city networking project that has the potential to emerge as a world-leading large-scale environment for the testing of technological, social and urban innovation”. Bristol is a city that not only understands the power of technology to drive improvements in people’s lives but is creating a roadmap to implement these improvements.
A global connection
Speaking with like-minded innovators, policy makers and private businesses gave the delegation the opportunity to share best practice and learn from other successful technology providers. The seven day visit also highlighted the support on offer from the UK government abroad and how perceived barriers to UK/US trade can be managed to help promote international growth.
I look forward to continuing to promote the excellence of the South West on a global scale.