If you want Poles of excellence ....
... you should go to Gdansk or Warsaw.
The European Commission has decided Munich, not London, is Europe's top technology hub. The judgement is delivered in a new Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe released this week. The Atlas rates Europe's “ICT Poles of Excellence”using an “empirical framework” that considers over 40 factors to measure the following: R&D …
or talk to this guy:
"A Polish MP is working as a handyman in London as he tries to find out why so many young Poles come to the UK." ....."Mr Debski, of Polish opposition party Your Movement, said he had begun to see why Polish people came to Britain" ....
If only our own MPs would show similar initiative and get up off their backsides to investigate what normal people do by actually doing it themselves even if there aren't TV cameras present
Thats unfair - so many of our MPs are prepared to get up off the backsides to discover why people want to be on the boards of Tobacco companies, defence companies and lots of other companies recieving contracts from their departments
Some are so dilligent in their undercover research that you almost never see them in westminster
I'm in Gdansk at the moment, helping mobilise a cable lay ship in the dockyards. I've never seen a work ethic like it! They work relatively short shifts- from about 7am to 4pm- but during that time they just swarm over any jobs that need doing. There have been crane lifted bits of kit placed on deck within 2, 3mm of their intended landing place, just plonked down softly and correctly.
The welding they do just to fasten our kit down is better than the welding on the kit itself.
I stood watching them today and realised why our shipyards had to shut in the UK- Tory, Labour, Lib Dem- they're all happier to push for shit like Silicon Roundabout rather than pushing training.
Yep, and you have a lot of big industry R&D and HQs around München - BMW, Siemens etc. as well as a very large IT presence and a good startup community. It is the hip place to be.
Although Berlin is generally seen as the German start-up city in the German media.
If you look at the sheer breadth and depth of tech companies in Munich - real tech companies, doing hard R&D, not fluffy "let's all close our eyes and make a wish" start-ups - it's no surprise at all that Munich comes out ahead. East London's forte seems to be in blagging money out of government and clueless investors fixated on Silicon Valley firms' multiples, which presumably is why it scores highly under "business".
I must have missed it ... why "London East" and not just London? Because wrt another commentards remarks as to the value of universities, it seems to me that "London East" seems rather cleverly to exclude most of London's universities, especially the higher ranked ones such as Imperial, UCL, KCL.
I'm not fussed either way about the ranking itself, just unclear as to why they chose "all of Munich", but only "London East" (and also I'm too busy/lazy to trawl through the whole report to see if a reason might be lurking somewhere in there...)
just been through report and I didn't see a plausible explanation of why "Inner London - East" and not "London". I did however notice two main things that struck me as just plain wrong? Firstly, the university figures are all based around Computer Science faculty information; no indication of how they take into account Electronic Engineering or other disciplines which can just as easily "feed" ICT innovation - did I miss that?
Secondly, the disclaimer on the front page that says "we're not responsible for anything you do based on our report" is missing the second half, which should read "for which you have paid - it's great being paid for stuff but not having to accept responsibilty for it! Aren't we lucky?" ;-)
*by which I mean "wrong".
As always these composite indicators are determined by the choice of the input data. And as is often the case they have chosen things that are easy to measure... A great example (which explains, in part, why Cambridge does so well) is the presence of a University. And another is the academic ranking of its Computer Science degree. And another is the number of citations coming form the Computer Science department. Good news that only CompSci counts for innovation in IT.
There are some interesting network metrics, but it seems they are based on things like joint patents and company ownerships - neither of which reflects startup innovation (it takes years to be granted patents, and usually you get bought up after you have innovated things, not before).
It would also have been nice to know what time period the data reflected, not just when the report covered...
Where here in the UK we just borrow to spend on consumer goods and houses.
Britain did used to be a manufacturing powerhouse but between the unions, shoddy management, short term city economics and Margaret Thatcher, this has been consigned to history and the only place you see industrial machinery is now in a museum.
You realise Thatcher left office almost 25yrs ago? The UK does high tech manufacturing very well, think Satellites and F1 as examples.
Pulling coal out the ground or weaving jumpers is cheaper in China and Asian countries from a wage perspective but there is a resurgence in clothing manufacturer in the UK, again high end and not the 2 for a £1 T-shirts in Asda.
Also don't forget the EU affect, it's obsession with global temperature which has pushed for the reduction of Carbon output, typically manufacturing/industrial and coming to a motorway near you soon. When we are crawling along at 60mph I presume you will blame Thatcher for that as well?
You know, the Romans left even longer ago than Thatcher and they still drive much of the lifestyle on your island. Hitter has been gone quite a while, but what he did does affect your daily life. What he did has such a big impact that the 80% of 'the Internet' not only misunderstands what Goodwin was talking about, more than a few also believe Godwin a contemporary of Hitler. I made decisions more than 25 years ago that are still providing jobs for people.
It's pretty foolish to believe that because you are young, and 25 years seems like a long time to you, that decisions made two and a half decades ago aren't shaping the works today.
And you don't build it in London, which is why London does badly.
How many high performance sports cars or F1 teams have their factories inside the M25? The same for Pharma, aerospace etc. You find all of those in and around Munich (and other major cities in Germany).
Creative expense account reporting doesn't actually count towards innovation, which is why the City does badly. :-P
We just don't make wingnuts or dig expensive coal anymore.
No we just run a huge fiscal deficit and an enormous balance of payments deficit.
If you're posting links, might I respond with this?
I'm sure you'll object to the author's opinions, but ignore the piece and just look at the graphs, especially the first one.
Hmm Adam Smith institute and all their wonderful ideas of Lassaize Faire and supply side economics..
All government subsidise home manufacturing to a degree. I really would read the second paper I've listed as it's much more comparative to our international competitors.
PS do you know Swiss Manufacturing is 20% of GDP ?
British manufacturing output has steadily increased for decades. What has decreased is the number of people employed in manufacturing. This is because of these new things we have: machines.
Obviously the unions want everyone to believe that if an industry employs fewer people it can only be in terminal decline, but one would hope that IT types might appreciate that automation and destruction are not the same thing.
And why do people only believe this myth about manufacturing? No-one complains that British farming no longer produces anything because we no longer send the whole village out with scythes to harvest the wheat, or that British accountancy has died because one guy can now do with Excel what used to take a roomful of clerks with dip-pens and inkwells.
You're partially correct, but too far off to the side and you're conflating two different issues. British manufacturing has been increasing because they're producing things that are simple to produce and have skinny margins that can't compensate for being made elsewhere. So while there are most certainly lots of people who aren't needed to produce things, it isn't the efficiencies of production that's responsible, it's the fact very little of complexity is produced there anymore.
The few complex things that are produced there use US made equipment to produce and have US engineers doing the R&D. I've got three people in England right now on a BAE project, one of which is leading the project and the other two will come back in a few months to oversee the design and construction of the equipment that will be built here, and sent to Britain in about two years when it's completed.
But there's nothing of British design or construction here except a chest of British sockets and wrenches and a few motorcycles I use to practice patience and use of the Force to keep running. There's also an old London phone booth I use as a gun cabinet and four old a English double rifles, but that's it and they're all really old. I've got lots of very expensive, very complex equipment from France, Germany and Japan, but not from England. Why do you think that is?
> You're partially correct, but too far off to the side and you're conflating two different issues.
Really? Because, as far as I can see, you're replying to some point made by someone in your imagination, not to what I actually wrote.
Did Thatcher destroy British manufacturing? No. Do we still have active industrial machinery in Britain? Yes, and lots of it. Is our economy based purely on borrowing money? No, the economic output of the manufacturing sector has steadily increased. Quite why you think the fact that you bought something from France once contradicts any of this is beyond me.
Did Thatcher destroy British manufacturing? No.?????
and you are claiming the other guy is delusional - the bitch _decimated_ British industry- not just manufacturing, anything with a broadly left wing working class workforce. where do you think the millions on the dole through her reign came from?
Is our economy based purely on borrowing money? No,????
Orly. i'd say 78% is as close to purely as you are going to find in the real world (im sure you must have at least read about it somewhere)
the economic output of the manufacturing sector has steadily increased
this is in fact correct, thanks to the incredibly low baseline set by thatcher
> the bitch _decimated_ British industry- not just manufacturing, anything with a broadly left wing working class workforce. where do you think the millions on the dole through her reign came from?
Sorry, are we talking about manufacturing or employment? They're not the same thing. The point I was responding to, from Mr rm -rf /, was that we no longer manufacture anything in the UK, not that we don't employ as many people in manufacturing as we used to.
Incidentally, more coal mines were shut under Wilson's governments than Thatcher's, but don't let facts get in your way.
> i'd say 78% is as close to purely as you are going to find in the real world
Then you are hideously abusing the word "purely".
> this is in fact correct, thanks to the incredibly low baseline set by thatcher
What low baseline? UK manufacturing output increased under Thatcher. Yes, I realise a lot of people have shouted very very loudly that the opposite is true, but their volume doesn't make them correct. I'm sure you don't believe me, so try looking it up.
Thatcher just hammered the nails in the coffin by withdrawing subsidies (the strong medicine) and allowed many firms to fail using free market theory (RIP Keynes). Manufacturing in the UK was on life support in the 70s brought about by bad management and bolshie trade unions. This resulted in poor capital investment , outdated working practices and low productivity. A lot of these industries are now gone and will never return, it takes a long time to build and moments to destroy.
By the way if you knew the slightest about economics you would know coal mining is not manufacturing (i.e.secondary) but a primary industry.
> Thatcher just hammered the nails in the coffin by withdrawing subsidies ... Keynes ... trade unions ... outdated working practices ... [blah blah blah]
Sorry, are you saying that Britain now has a manufacturing sector or that it doesn't?
> if you knew the slightest about economics you would know coal mining is not manufacturing
And if you knew the slightest about basic reading comprehension, you'd have noticed that I was replying to this:
> the bitch _decimated_ British industry- not just manufacturing, anything with a broadly left wing working class workforce
I did it make it easy to spot by explicitly quoting it, but hey.
"Incidentally, more coal mines were shut under Wilson's governments than Thatcher's, but don't let facts get in your way."
Suppose an industry is too large and needs to be 'rationalised'. Such happens. Only what is essential is left. Then someone else comes along and destroys most of that.
It's nice to know you don't understand your own point. That must make life fun for you. You said that machines were responsible for reducing employment in the British manufacturing sector. That's correct, but not complete.
Because Britain isn't producing many complex things they can get by with simple machines that require fewer operators. Complex output and the advanced machines need to make those things have significant operator requirements and if complex production goes up, then so does employment. The simple circuit boards and low precision parts coming out if Britain don't need much to operate. Obviously an advanced high volume machine will need fewer operators, but a big pick and place machine can use 15-18 people, per machine, per shift, just to keep it fed. That's quite a bit more than the single operator making simple boards. I won't even bother with precision machining, there isn't any there.
Thatcher didn't ruin anything. The idiots that put her in power and waved her banner did that. Hell, they're still doing it and I'm pretty sure some of them have even figured out how to use the government subsidized Internet to be 'virtual idiots'. Thatcher was far too stupid to ruin anything but your dinner and her marriage bed. I met her twice. The first time I went to England to present a paper and the second time about six years later.
The paper was on research I had done with Titanium alloys in He cooling systems. Afterward she asked some prepared questions and I'm still 100% certain that dumb bitch had no idea what my paper was about or what the markings on her note cards meant. I was told it was an honor, I was afraid I had been brain damaged and my position at ORNL would be jeapordized as a result. I was able to restore full functionality after cleaning my brain and soul with copious amounts of bourbon.
The second time was at a dinner and her protocol droids had obviously informed her we had met in the past. I denied ever meeting her and her look of panicked confusion, then the look of anger forged in the hottest fires of stupid from being embarrassed that caused her toady to turn pale will always be one of my fondest memories. Oh for a picture.
So no, I blame that dumb slag for nothing. She couldn't have done anything positive, or negative, that a cucumber couldn't do.
My point about France, Japan and Gernany was that I've got several million dollars in equipment from companies in each of those countries but none from Britain. It isn't cost or bias that's kept me from buying equipment from there. Hell, I'm certain it would be priced better because I can get manufacturing equipment from Britain through reduced duty ITA programs, but there's nothing to buy! Britain is consumption only as far as advanced manufacturing equipment, but I've got good trade both ways in France, Germany and Japan but Britain just buys, doesn't produce.
Seems some of the people commenting are still mixing up a decline in manufacturing with a reduction in manufacturing employees. We manufacture more now than ever before. We build more cars here now than every before. Sure, the companies aren't UK owned any more but we still do the work.
Also, @Don Jefe - your anecdote about not being able to buy advanced manufacturing equipment from the UK makes no sense, in a wider look at the sector as a whole. The UK also doesn't manufacture cheap t-shirts. So what? We do manufacture many other things. We manufacture heavy plant machinery (a heck of a lot of it) for example. We manufacture satellites! We manufacture nuclear reactors! Boilers. Cars. Pharmaceuticals. Aircraft parts. The list goes on...
"Britain just buys, doesn't produce."
In the grand scheme of things its fair to say that the US is in the same basket as the UK. I'll take your views on advanced manufacturing equipment at face value, but that hasn't been a UK export strength except when the Bessemer converter was regarded as advanced. Problem is that one narrow sector isn't representative of a whole economy.
Look at the analysis of recent US job reports - many of the old blue collar jobs lost (say in Detroit) have been replaced just as UK jobs have been with part time and lower value unskilled work. So although many but not all of your comments are accurate, your belief that the US is doing something different to the UK is wrong. The US likewise has a huge budget deficit, a huge trade deficit, and your economy is being hollowed out, with nothing but money printing to keep it afloat..
If we look at balance of trade in goods, last year the US ran a deficit of about $700bn, the UK a deficit of about £100bn, say $150bn. Per capita that means the trade deficit for the US is $2.24k compared to $2.38k for the UK. So for a country that doesn't manufacture much of value in your eyes, I'd suggest that we're not doing much worse than you lot.
> It's nice to know you don't understand your own point. That must make life fun for you. You said that machines were responsible for reducing employment in the British manufacturing sector. That's correct, but not complete.
Well, of course it's not complete. You're right: I didn't list every single factor that has had any impact on either increasing or decreasing British manufacturing output over the last forty years. So fucking what? Since I was responding to someone who was repeating the popular myth that we no longer manufacture anything at all in Britain, I hardly think I needed to.
However, I don't think you're making the right comparison. You're comparing the number of people required to operate a modern manufacturing process in various countries today, but, when people talk about the decline in British manufacturing, they're comparing today to the Seventies and earlier. And whilst some developed nations may well be using more manufacturing labour than the UK today, they are still using less than they did in those days. Because of machines.
But I appreciate that you really wanted to just find a way of working the conversation around to yet again telling us all how many squillions of dollars you have. Oh, I see you have done so now. Well done.
As for your anecdotes....
> The paper was on research I had done with Titanium alloys in He cooling systems. Afterward she asked some prepared questions and I'm still 100% certain that dumb bitch had no idea what my paper was about
What's your point here? Does anyone seriously expect any world leader to understand the specialist area of every person they meet? I'm sure it would be trivially easy to list a dozen sciences that Obama doesn't understand. It's trivially easy to list a dozen sciences that most scientists don't understand. And?
> The second time was at a dinner and her protocol droids had obviously informed her we had met in the past. I denied ever meeting her
You know why politicians mention previous meetings? It's to try and be polite. Yes, they are often using records instead of actually remembering, because they meet thousands of people. But they are at least trying to be nice. And, in response, you lied! In order to embarrass! How clever! It's interesting that you think that reflects well on you, but then you appear to also think turning every argument on El Reg into an excuse to mention your fabulous riches reflects well on you, so hey.
Well 40% of manufacturing in the early 80's, much of our knowledge based industry has been bought by French, American and German companies. The result of these sales is that the jobs and profits eventually go overseas, incidentally income inequality is now back at Edwardian levels. Great job. No ones being negative about Britain, what she allowed was a kind of unilateral disarmament of our industry. Remember when UK companies could make power stations??
> what she allowed was a kind of unilateral disarmament of our industry.
No matter how many times people repeat this, it is still the case that the UK's industrial output increased under Thatcher and has continued to increase (with a couple of blips during recessions) since. The ONS are now online, so don't take my word for it.
I actually have no axe to grind here, believe it or not. I don't subscribe to the popular myth that manufacturing is somehow "proper" or "real" economic activity whilst services aren't, so I don't feel any need to claim that UK manufacturing is thriving in order to prove that our economy isn't screwed or whatever. If British manufacturing were dead, I wouldn't particularly mind. But the fact is that it's not.
Thatcher just continued the clear out dead industries that had been going on for years. The previous Labour governement shut down many times more coal mines than she did. What she did do among many other achievements was break the unions which was great for this country.
Anyway - not that long until the next election - Let's just hope the collective memory of the voters doesnt forget how badly the last labour government screwed up this country's economy, how many millions of foreigners they let in, and how much money they wasted....
I'll just tell the 8,000 enginers in the UK at Rolls-Royce that they don't manufacture anything complex, let alone half the engines for the worlds widebody jetliner fleet shall I, or the thousands employed at Bombardier, manufacturing rail stock, or how about Coventry, where Jaguar Land Rover are recruiting THOUSANDS of new engineers to assist with their R&D and manufacturing plants (seen any Range Rover Evokes around the states recently? Indian Owned but British Made in Liverpool). Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce - British made. JCB industrial and construction equipment - you may have heard of them. Head up to Scotland and you'll find all manner of marine, oil and gas activity - none of which is known for requiring simple manufacturing.
F1 technology and motorsport- an awful lot manufactured in UK, gearboxes, energy recovery systems, engine development, brakes - Prodrive (UK R&D and Manufacturing) quite literally were the only name in the world rally championship a few years back, supplying technology for virtually all the teams. BAe Systems you've mentioned - in decline at the moment due to the global defence cuts, but defence is a fringe case because as you've mentioned, sovereignty comes into it - so anything made for a country will have it's IP and final construction completed there. Which is why we don't buy US military hardware, just as you don't buy UK (except where we share risk - F35 is a classic example - US do not have the capability for STOVL variant, UK does, designed using UK IP, manufactured in US)
Manufacturing simple things with skinny margins in the UK? not a chance, not at any scale anyway - there is no way you can compete with Asia. We make highly complex equipment that they cannot, due to a lack of adequately qualified personnel and established R&D resources, infrastructure and protection which the east cannot offer (except maybe Sinagpore or South Korea). That does mean that the blue-collar manufacturing on production lines that people "fondly" remember back in the 60s and 70s has largely disappeared, as minimum wages here mean automation/offshoring is cheaper. But to say we don't manufacture anything complex is simply wrong. If anything, it's the only thing we still do. ARM electronics, Imagination technologies - plenty of the IP in your smartphone belongs to British companies, despite what Apple would like you to believe.
I think I've made my point that Britain does do complex manufacturing, and lots of it. I should know as I work in it.
Getting back to topic: putting a manufacturing centre in London, where space is at a significant premium and commands extorsionate rents, is not an idea anyone would seriously entertain. If you have lots of people making lots of money in high rise offices (banksters, insurers, financial services etc) then locating in London makes sense. If you have need of low density (by which I mean warehouses, factories with a few stories) manufacturing needs, you'd be bankrupt within a year if you put it in London. Just like putting an automotive factory in downtown Manhattan - it's a stupid idea.
So there was no way it was ever going to win the top tech city award - it's too expensive to manufacture anything there.
If "Obviously the unions want everyone to believe that if an industry employs fewer people it can only be in terminal decline," originally read
"Obviously the unions want everyone to believe that if fewer people join unions a country
an industry employs fewer people it can only be in terminal decline,"
then you have a very good point - both times around
Wrote :- "British manufacturing output has steadily increased for decades."
But nowhere near the general increase in the developed world. People purchase far more manufactured items than they did a generation or two ago - my father only ever purchased one camera, one set of furniture, two radios and three cars in his life.
Much of what the spin doctors tell us is "British manufacture" is in fact work for monkeys, such as the final assembly of parts produced abroad, or automated production of stuff for which the clever work, like designing it, has been done abroad.
The last time I saw a "Made in Britain" notice was on a box of Xmas crackers.
> But nowhere near the general increase in the developed world.
If that were true, I'd say "So what?" The contention I am arguing against is that British manufacturing has collapsed to virtually nothing, not that it has grown while someone else's grew by more. They're not remotely the same point.
That being said, it's not true.
Ah ha! A teacher! It genuinely makes me happy there's at least one educator who hangs out here. I think teachers are the most valuable people in society but so many of them become locked in stasis when they start teaching and never bother to keep abreast of current commercial developments. Hats off to you sir.
I agree the graph is stupid, but is it truly the incorrect format? I ask because I'm a big believer that graphs aren't for displaying data, that's what spreadsheets are for. Graphs are for displaying data to sell something with.
Not necessarily 'sell' like a financial transaction, but to sell people on an idea usually related to what's in the chart, but isn't actually on the chart itself. So you use a chart that blows all sense of actual proportion away and let's you position things in a way that furthers your cause.
I have used Linux for years and it has now reached the point of being almost a point and click system for it's users. I recently tried to install a wireless network printer, HP, for a friend who uses Win7. Following the instillation instruction's exactly resulted in the printer supposedly connected to the network but the print driver not finding the printer. No amount of troubleshooting could explain the problem. Using my linux laptop I could find and print, but the win7 machine couldn't. So from this experience I would have to say that using a printer under linux is easier tha Win7.
"I think it shows a mindset in Munich that's willing to try to do better."
In all honesty I think cost is the motivating factor for any governmental body that goes for Linux on the desktop so I'd have to disagree, unless by better you mean saving money. Open standards may be appealing to people here, but I don't believe for a second that governments are basing their decisions on that interoperability. In terms of software quality, on the desktop I don't think there's that much to choose between Linux and Windows for the end user.
But it was long term cost. A govt thinking beyond the next quarter was what was so amazing.
The guy in charge said at the time, (IIRC they were skipping migrating off W2K?) - it will cost more than this upgrade, you would be amazed how cheap the quote fro MSFT gets when you have an alternative, but having control over the upgrades 10-20 years in the future will save us more.
Now how many countries are spending $100M on extending XP support?
"In terms of software quality, on the desktop I don't think there's that much to choose between Linux and Windows for the end user.
Are you serious?! The vast majority of corporate desktop software simply doesnt have a Linux version!
If you only need the office capabilities of WordPad, then maybe it would do, but all Open Office type products on the market are vastly inferior products with countless missing features in comparison to Ms Office. Outlook and Excel in particular simply don't have equivalents.
"without any evidence as yet provided by Munich council."
Munich have documented their progress and the project completion, quite unlike some FUD never-quite published by a Redmond hanger-on.
You know all this, you've been told by lots of people lots of times. This one's lost - best get back to sticking your finger into one of the many other holes in the dyke.
Nice but flawed. Yep, the People writing this had to produce "something for the boss" in order to "shape policy" but it isn't surprising to discover large urban centres tend to produce clusters.
There isn't sufficient joining of dots e.g. Yvelines/Hauts de Seine should be lumped in with Paris; Reading is pretty much on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border, so if Oracle and Microsoft move their operations across the Thames, the scores change; Munich City and Greater Munich are split ...
A lot of the "regions" should be grouped as they feed, and feed off each other due to their proximity. Belgium is so concentrated, that its regions could all be considered as one, politics aside..
The deeper you read, the more bizarre it gets, proving the more you torture the data, the more you can produce any answer you like.
Creating jobs in the fire-damage repairs, glazing, and street cleaning industries doesn't count as manufacturing innovation, so civil protests are irrelevant in this study.
If you don't like the current government, you should round up a mob of like minded people, march down to the town hall... and register to vote.
There's a great response! Love it!
You've also identified a great new market: Civil Protest Technology. It's an entire sector gagging for attention. Protest organization tools, quick drop riot supplies, you could even do solar powered 3D printers designed to output anti-police barriers custom fit to alleyways and doors! Lots of options.
You could even do something like iMercenary where you can order protestors preprogrammed with a specific cause in mind!
"If you don't like the current government, you should round up a mob of like minded people, march down to the town hall... and register to vote."
and other None of The Above organisations hoping that they can give the UK's current political classes a good kicking in the next election. Few outside the Westminster reality distortion field actually think the UK's politicians are doing a good job, but abstentions don't really express that, and most of the UK has forgotten about civil disobedience (and the water cannon will soon be on order for the benfit of the places at highest risk).
As great as this sort of thing is for trolling, there's a real problem here and nobody ever talks about it. You can't manufacture successful industry. This isn't a stadium, just because you build it doesn't mean anybody will come.
You don't put signs up and declare that business will grow here, because that kills 100% of the market pressures that businesses overcome in 'innovative' ways that results in a desirable place to set up shop. I don't want legal, marketing, IT, engineering or suppliers to setup where I will come to them, I want them to setup where they've identified a market opportunity and will fill it with things that market needs. Otherwise you and up with people trying to sell everything and besides never getting it right, their staff and inventory overhead makes their products unaffordable because you're paying for things that never get sold, and they've got to cover those losses somehow.
Successful R&D is never of planting of seeds then harvesting the results. Successful R&D is a function of problem solving and you're never going to attract problem solvers if you try to solve their problems for them. That's what aerospace companies do and they're 100% dependent on government for their success. If you want government subsidized innovation you're not only mad, you're fucked.
Silicon Valley came into existence organically as like minded problem solvers all began to gather around a few innovators. If you don't let that happen everything falls apart. You don't play catchup with another county because you want some of that money too. That's not innovation, that's follow the leader. You foster whatever you've got, not try to be like somebody else. It's like people who buy Chrysler 300's because they think they look like a Phantom, but the illusion falls apart when an actual Phantom rolls up. Innovation doesn't start by doing what somebody else is doing. That's just stupid.
"As great as this sort of thing is for trolling, there's a real problem here and nobody ever talks about it. You can't manufacture successful industry. This isn't a stadium, just because you build it doesn't mean anybody will come."
Very true; actually, it's worse than that in some ways - sometimes seems closer to "just because you build it, and put unbelievably stupid terms on the tickets, doesn't mean anybody will come and certainly doesn't mean they will stay."
Some years ago I worked with a company that wanted to expand an IT services business in East London, with a new business area creating opportunities for school leavers with hands-on training from people who can do the job (rather than those who can teach it but have not done it for years): the local council was approached for assistance in (a) approaching local schools through a single point of contact, (b) taking on some office space for training (in a council-owned building), and (c) linking this plan to a small number of other related initiatives the council was talking about loudly in the local press. Told by a council employee that given our aims and location the council would actually be able to provide some limited funding to get us through the first year, it was decided to pursue that and if necessary to alter timings / phases of the project to fit (without changing the overall aims or strategy, clearly). Then came the kick: to qualify for that assistance, or to use the council to liaise with schools, there were requirements to meet (not unexpected, you might think, until you hear what they are). These included no discrimination on the basis of academic, technical or linguistic abilities when it came to candidate selection, and also the fact that the financial assistance that was available would be released in phases - the first release of funds being six months after the project took on it's first apprentices (although rent on the training space, due to be paid to the council, was due before we could even start fitting out the training space itself, and the apprentices had to be paid from day one, with the council having a say in their rates of pay).
Finding it hard to believe the same council is still so stupid six to seven years and one fairly serious recession later, I've just gone back to their website to see how much they have learned and changed during that time. The first listing under assistance for businesses is how to give money to the council in return for un-named services, with no documentation provided as to service delivery standards / quality / etc. Second is how to apply for grants from everyone else apart from the council (which, by the way, will happily assist with those applications, for a fee). Unbelievable.
A serious debate or discussion forum on how to promote/help innovation and the creation of businesses / jobs etc - without any of the usual hot air/politics/special interests - would be an interesting exercise if El Reg could spare the space ;-)
I agree with you regarding Silicon Glen.
There is an HP office still in Erskine.
IBM Spango Valley is winding down,a s reported in the Register.
SUN in Livingstone is long gone AFAIK - I remember visiting there quite a lot to assemble and test Beowulf clusters.
There is an Amazon R&D lab in Edinburgh, which sounds fun.
As an expat Scot who would like to return, there is a paucity of opportunities.
What happened to Silicon Glen was quite simply that the whole idea was to lure tech jobs to Scotland to solve an unemployment problem, using short term taxpayer subsidies. Tech was exciting and growing, so the expectation was that this would create durable skills and retain the employers.
Unfortunately, the volume jobs in tech are low to medium skilled, and the employers were globally mobile companies lured by the subsidies. As soon as the temporary subsidies fizzled out, the jobs soon moved because either somebody else with expensive labour was now offering subsidies, or without continuing local subsidies the UK plant was uneconomic against foreigners simply prepared to work harder for less. The same thing happened with attempts to lure manufacturing to Wales - remember the Sony Bridgend plant, or the LG Philips in Newport, the Sharp solar panel plant at Wrexham, the Hoover plant at Merthyr Tydfil, and so forth.
Subsidies never work, but sadly structural adjustment (like abolishing employer's NI, or making business rates fit for purpose) is too hard for the public sector.
We manufacture nuclear reactors!
No, Britain does not manufacture nuclear reactors. Westinghouse was sold to Toshiba by BNFL a long time ago.
The last British designed and built nuclear reactor was the AGR at Torness. My Father was factory manager of the company that manufactured the graphite cores of the last two AGRs.
As for pharmaceuticals I don't think you are aware that many pharmaceutical companies in the last 10 years have closed research sites, moved API production abroad, closed formulation and packing. I worked in this industry for 15 years and it has suffered greatly in the last 10.
It was an US design back in the 50s for the first generation, but they have since been upgraded several times over, without any help or know-how from the US.
Unless you're arguing the same analogy that all motorcars are heavily supported with US know how from the model T as well, in which case, fair enough, but it's not really all that relevant in the capabilities of today's world.
Cambridge is placed No5. However, if you refer to Page 36 of the report, they have placed Cambidge at the bottom of the table rating - saying that Cambridge is 27th in its "University Quality" - even though Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University are there. Bizarre.
If you placed Cambridge at say the same level as Gwynedd (no1) or Darmstady (No 2) then Cambridge (aka Silicon Fen) would clearly jump up from 5th place to 1st or 2nd.
There was a big transition under Wilson with the construction of nuclear power stations, with the result that most of the coal production became redundant. He didn't just close the mines for no reason.
Also, Thatcher had a beef with the trade unions, not manufacturing. Manufacturing actually grew as a result. Equating a decline in trade unions with a decline in manufacturing is daft.
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