European Commission names Munich as continent’s main tech hub

Der Muenchner Christkindlmarkt und das Rathaus strahlen am Montag (28.11.05) waehrend der Blauen Stunde in weihnachtlichem Lichterglanz. Mit der Eroeffnung des zentralen Muenchner Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Marienplatz begann am Freitag (25.11.05) die WeihNever mind the Champion’s League, there is a fascinating battle across Europe’s major cities to win the tech hub crown, or at least wear it for a year before it is snatched away by some other agglomeration of latte-sipping arrivistes. The latest City to be awarded the mantle is, perhaps surprisingly, Munich often seen as something of a laggard even within the borders of Germany, playing second fiddle to Berlin. According to the European Commission report (not so snappily titled Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe) even London, usually regarded as the continent’s tech heartland, bends the knee to the Bavarian City. According to the report’s authors Munich is particularly strong in research and development, although it loses out to London on other factors including networking and access to finance. Paris was placed third.

The report confirms that technological innovation focuses on a comparatively small number of regional clusters. It identifies 34 main areas in twelve countries although, as ever, it all depends on how you look at it. A February report from Colliers International confirmed London in Number One spot with Berlin and Dublin progressing strongly. The EC report clearly used different criteria because Berlin could only make it to 15th in its list based on factors such as growth in turnover, number of employees, networking and international collaborations.

The idea that the UK is something of  a tech hot spot in its own right was given added credibility with the inclusion of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh,  Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey each being mentioned in the report.