As well huge digital companies operating in mature industries, Bristol & Bath has produced some hugely innovative and successful startups in recent times. From Imaginarium’s motion capture, to Maplebird’s development of micro-robotics ‘ultra-sonic’ reactive technology from Ultrahaptics, and 3D printable artificial limbs from Open Bionics, creative innovation lies at the heart of this thriving cluster.
The digital community in the area is also growing at a rapid rate with a 65% increase in new digital companies incorporated between 2010-13. This has led to Bristol & Bath becoming the second largest digital employer in the UK, with 61,653 people working in tech.
With all the new companies and employees in the cluster, it is vital that there is a strong set of support networks available to digital entrepreneurs, and Bristol & Bath has an abundance. Bristol & Bath Science Park, SETsquared, Engine Shed, The Guild, BathSPARK, TechSPARK, WebStart Bristol, Bristol Games Hub and Invest Bristol & Bath provide startups in the area with extensive industry specific support opportunities.
Director of Bristol & Bath Science Park, Bonnie Dean, is enthused by the diversity of the cluster’s digital ecosystem: “The tech scene in Bristol is really broad – there’s a very strong creative sector, companies working on silicon chip design and also cybersecurity, games and computer simulation.”
Three companies were featured in the report: