Tech Business Growth in Milton Keynes
The rise of Milton Keynes as one of the best places in England for Tech Businesses.
BEST TECH ECOSYSTEM FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
Milton Keynes is home to many large and small tech and digital enterprises. It provides a healthy and robust ecosystem for tech business growth and development. Along with great connectivity and transport links to the biggest cities in England, Milton Keynes also has a diverse digital and tech scene that encompasses industries such as High-Performance Engineering, Healthcare, Finance, Education and more. So much so, that some of the biggest names in the tech industry in the world have set up their base in this new town. Milton Keynes is also the preferred location for establishing a tech start-up and is one of the few cities in the country that has truly embraced digitalisation and AI and is utilising them in the public sector through e-bikes, contactless delivery, and driverless public transport.
WHY IS MILTON KEYNES AN IDEAL PLACE FOR BUSINESS GROWTH?
Location – Accessibility is an important factor when it comes to business growth and success. Located at the centre of the strong growth region of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford arc, Milton Keynes offers a great environment to live, thrive and connect with the best tech resources in the country. It provides fast access to London, Birmingham, Leicester, Oxford, and Cambridge, by road, rail, and air.
Skilled Workforce – For any tech business to grow, it requires a highly-skilled workforce to support its functions. As most technology enterprises are involved in advanced research and development and continuous innovation, having access to a skilled technical supply chain can accelerate business growth. Milton Keynes is a tech hub that houses and supports thousands of skilled digital, tech workers whose expertise is relevant in all areas within the tech sector.
Specialised Education – One of the reasons why Milton Keynes has such a large number of skilled tech workers is the quality of specialised tech education that is available through its local institutes and colleges. MK College, Cranfield University and Open University are some of the best educational institutions in the region which provide specialised courses in digital and tech education at different levels. Milton Keynes is also set to become one of the 12 locations to host a dedicated tech institute, the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT), along with its very own university (MK:U), both of which will strengthen its position as a premier location for tech enthusiasts, professionals, and businesses.
Great Support – Milton Keynes offers tech businesses concrete support in the form of infrastructure, resources, and funding. Several projects, initiatives and R&D proposals within the city have attracted investment from various government and private sources, leading to the steady economic growth of the region. Support is also available through specialist tech hubs like BizTech, that can provide businesses with networking opportunities and give access to funding resources to help them grow.
SMART CITY FOR SMART BUSINESSES
Although Milton Keynes is one of the fastest-growing towns, it faced the practical challenge of supporting the sustainable growth of existing as well as proposed business initiatives, like many other cities in the country. For this reason, the Open University launched a collaborative initiative with funding support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), called MK:Smart, in order to develop innovative solutions for business growth. The project is meant to address the need for sustainable growth in transport, energy and water management, education, and other key areas, with the help of their state-of-the-art ‘MK Data Hub.’
The initiative also serves as a unique business engagement programme with the help of the Innovation and Incubation Centre (IIC) at University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK). It not only provides education and training opportunities in data-driven and digital business innovation but also provides hands-on support for the growth and development of tech businesses in the region.
FUTURE OF TECH BUSINESSES IN MILTON KEYNES
According to Forbes, a decade worth of tech growth is expected to occur within two years, as the impact of Covid-19 forces businesses across the world to adapt and increase their reliance on tech and digital. This process has already started on a large scale in Milton Keynes, where the IT sector has seen a 150% increase in the floorspace occupied as compared to previous years. The tech and IT sectors have dominated all other business and professional services in driving activity and investment in the past year, a trend that is expected to continue in 2021 as well. The biggest testament of this movement is Santander’s tech hub project called Unity Place, which is set to become one of the biggest technology centres in the region that will support over 6,000 employees.
Milton Keynes is an ideal place to establish a tech start-up and pursue business growth through the right channels. Whether it is funding, training, networking or availability of a skilled workforce, Milton Keynes has everything to assist businesses with growth. For this reason, big companies like Redbull Racing, Xero UK, Mercedes, IBM, Network Rail, WD40, Santander, Prodrive, Catapult Connected and IMS Evolve among others, call Milton Keynes their home. So, if you’re thinking of establishing your tech business in Milton Keynes, you’ll be in good company!
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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
I came across the Biztech Forum about 18 months after starting my Engineering Consulting Company. I was still finding my feet and had been doing the rounds of various networking groups. From the first meeting I attended the Biztech Forum was different! Noteably, the meeting was about arranging Events for members to inform and educate them about business and technology topics, not businesses (mostly irrelevant to me) trying to sell to each other! 11 years on and I am a Director of the Forum and have found great value not only in the Events, but most particularly in being able to collaborate, associate and work with like minded peers and leaders be they with technical, entrepreneurial, education, business or any other background.
I joined Biztech because I saw an opportunity to help more Tech Business owners in the region. The Biztech Board is full of enthusiastic and very experienced tech leaders and their passion and vision to helping others was the main reason that I joined. My membership has helped me to expand my network and make quality connections within the tech sector. I look forward to supporting not only Biztech but also its members and stakeholders for many years to come.
We joined Biztech to discover more about and engage with the community of technology businesses within the Milton Keynes region. We benefitted immediately from the events that Biztech presents that address a range of highly relevant subjects and that have helped us to feel very much at the centre of the local community of businesses.
It became apparent however that there was much more than Biztech could do to help the region’s technology businesses to thrive, for example by looking for ways to address the shortage of young people choosing a career as an engineer. It was a great privilege therefore to be able to help establish the massively successful ‘Engineering your future’ Biztech event held annually for schools.
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