18 June, 2012
To SME or Not to SME
To SME or not to SME, that is the question. Well, in the case of the Brighton Fuse, that is the questionnaire. This week the BF team are launching an online survey to figure out why Brighton works as a creative, digital and IT (CDIT) cluster, how the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) might grow and prosper, and in particular how the universities fit into that growth story.
The Brighton Fuse grew out of a report we did at the Council for Industry and Higher Education, called funnily enough, The Fuse, where we argued that IT, software, content and services were so intermingled that it was important to try to articulate the relationship in a consistent way, and the acronym CDIT was born. CDIT clusters (of which Silicon Valley is the Big Daddy), are top of every policymakers hot buttons, or in the Prime Minister’s case, hot roundabouts.
Brighton was hot when Old Street was just the ugliest roundabout in London. It has over 2000 creative and digital businesses, six thousand freelancers, international festivals, two universities…oh and a beach (well something like a beach). And it is an exemplar of that portmanteau of ideas that coalesce into cluster theory, made famous by Michael Porter. At the heart of clusters are connections and knowledge-exchange, and at the heart of knowledge exchange should be universities. Aye, there’s the rub. Linking up the 34,000 odd students and 3000 plus academics to the Brighton cluster businesses is of paramount importance to not only the South Coast economy, but to the whole of the South East; because the more vibrant CDIT clusters we create in the UK, the more we will attract inward investment and the high quality research-intensive businesses who create jobs. I deliberately included all the staff and students because the CDIT sector isn’t just about fun and games, it creates a platform for the transformation of medicine, pharmaceuticals, education and most forms of transactional and interactive business.
To read the full article, follow the link below:
Originally published in The Huffington Post, 14 June 2012