6 January 2021
Many Japanese presume that UK innovation means London Fintech start-ups, however, there are so many other innovation clusters in the UK which make the most of their regional strengths and have been successful in revitalising their local areas by placing innovation at the core.
Our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon introduced some examples of the UK’s innovation and start-up ecosystem in an interview with Forbes Japan on the 6th January.
Masako was interviewed together with Mr Kazuki Nishigaki, who is VP of McLEAR, a fintech company in London. The interviewer was Mr John Kojiro Moriwaka, who is an official columnist of Forbes Japan and holds many entrepreneurial positions including being an advisor to several Silicon Valley start-ups and global technology consulting firms, a mentor for ten start-up accelerators, public speaker, columnist and visiting Professor of two Japanese Universities.
In the interview, we talked about the “Golden Triangle”, which connects London, Oxford and Cambridge and is one of the major areas of innovation, followed by the Thames Valley area, also known as the “Silicon Valley of Europe” and about how foreign affiliated companies proactively nurture innovation with local businesses and universities. As examples of innovation clusters which adapt to local resources and strengths, we talked about clusters in Coventry, Warwick and Bristol.
As we reported previously (https://www.obm-gb.com/en/viewsfromthebridge/japan-creates-four-silicon-valleys/) the Japanese government has designated specific areas in Japan to grow innovation clusters. Although Japan tends to look to Silicon Valley as a model case, such organically grown clusters are rare. We believe that the UK showcases a variety of innovation clusters with a good level of collaboration between government, business and academia and the UK clusters can be something Japan can refer to.
On the 1st January 2021, the UK-Japan free trade agreement (Economic Partnership Agreement) became effective. Innovation will be one of the key areas where both countries can work together to develop new business opportunities.
Forbes Japan’s article is found here.