07 March 2017
Promotion, Growth Agenda, Thought Leadership – the three strands identified as being key to the success of the Silverstone Technology Cluster. CEO Pim van Baarsen explains…
All three were hot topics at the recently formed company STC’s first board meeting which, according to Pim, generated plenty of debate (see separate story).
Ultimately STC’s goals are to raise awareness of the potential of the region around Silverstone as an engine room of the UK economy due to the exceptionally high number of companies within it specialising in high-tech engineering (approx. 4000 in all).
Much of this could involve attracting investment from Government and the finance community to the benefit of both the local and UK economies – warmly welcomed in an in-depth report that identified the Cluster’s existence when published last summer (download it here).
Back, meanwhile, to those three strands. Pim (pictured right) talks us through them…
“What we want to do is make sure companies in the Cluster are seen as leading the way in high tech engineering, software, electronics. The promotional elements therefore are two-fold: promotion to the outside world; but also promotion internally.
“Not all companies in the Cluster know each other. It’s part of our job to put that right so they meet and understand what each other does.”
“This is about helping companies identify the options to enable grow, which could be through bringing in new skills, considering debt or equity finance, exploring potential mergers or acquisitions activity or corporate venturing.
“We want to make sure our cluster companies understand the opportunities, help them to identify which are most benefit to them and then provide the support needed to start them on their way.”
“By establishing special interest groups we are creating think tanks and strategy groups to debate the issues that affect industry.
“For example, I recently went to a specialist interest group for mobile networks which was all about the establishment the 5G network, which is on its way. The conversation was ‘what does this mean?’; ‘what will it look like?’; ‘what needs to happen?’
“Some presentations were deliberately thought provoking to get a big conversation going. There were some big players like Siemens and Ericsson right down to smaller specialist operations; 50 people or so all determining how 5G will be implemented, all having a say.
“We will establish Special Interest Groups, led by STC companies, to debate the technology being developed in the Cluster that has a global significance – consider the issues, learn from each other in the room, push the boundaries in subject areas that the STC specialises.”
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Pim has already made it clear that among the Board’s next steps is to establish an events calendar with a focus on its special interest groups and the growth agenda.
Meanwhile he is also in on-going discussions with an increasing number of companies interested in joining the STC membership.