Europe’s top ICT hubs

by Jörgen Eriksson on April 21, 2014

Study on European ICT Poles of ExcellenceThe European Union has published a report and an interactive atlas which shows where across the EU that digital technologies thrive and examines the factors contributing to this success.

The atlas helps to answer such questions as:

  • How is ICT R&D, innovation and economic activity distributed in Europe?
  • Which locations are attracting new investments in the ICT sector?
  • What is the position of individual European locations in the global network of ICT activity?

Most of Europe’s ICT activity takes place in 34 regions across 12 countries. Key ingredients to success includes access to top Universities and research centres and funding opportunities such as venture capital.

Three high performance regions – first tier ICT Poles of Excellence

Three European regions were identified that are considered as 1st tier regions:

1. Munich
2. Inner London
3. Paris

There are eight 2nd tier regions:

  1. Karlsruhe
  2. Cambridge
  3. Stockholm
  4. Darmstadt
  5. Uusimaa
  6. Noord-Brabant
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Leuven

You don’t have to be big to succeed!

The study underlines the importance of smaller regions. For example, Darmstadt, a city of 150.000 people, building on its research & innovative output and on its active business community, ranks number seven at EU’s top 10 ICT Poles of excellence. Other small-sized regions showing strong performance are Leuven, Karlsruhe or Cambridge.

EIPE_POLES of Excellence_infographics_d3_v5

Ingredients for digital success

A region’s ICT excellence is linked to research and development activities, to the ability to take knowledge to market (innovation) and to building an intense business activity around this innovation. It seems that ICT thriving regions:

  • – are mostly long standing industrial areas;

  • – have high-standard educational institutions and other key innovation players;

  • – have long-term policies on research and innovation;

  • – have enjoyed historical opportunities (such as being the political national capitals);

  • – tend to cluster together (half of the 34 Poles of excellence are neighbouring regions).

This effect is also observed in places like the Silicon Valley (USA), Bangalore (India) or Changzhou (China).

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