Saul Klein of the Guardian recently discussed the new age of the internet and the role that London could play in this period of innovation and development. Klein writes, “My career in the internet industry began in London in 1993 and if you had told me then that the UK would one day be the most advanced internet economy in the world, I would have questioned your sanity. But that is precisely what it is today. According to the Boston Consulting Group, by 2016, 3 billion people will be online and the internet economy will be worth $4.2tn among G20 countries – almost doubling in size since 2010. It’s a revolution which is rewiring every part of business and society, from SMEs to multi-nationals, not-for-profits to governments – and Britain is leading the way. In 2010, the internet accounted for more than 8% of UK GDP (a figure I’ll come back to), more than any other G20 nation, including the US (at 5.4%) and China (6.9%).”

He goes on, “Everywhere you turn, the case for this being London’s ‘moment’ grows more compelling. Stanford and Berkeley Universities have long been hailed as one of the key ingredients in Silicon Valley’s success, yet three of the world’s top 10 universities – Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College – are nearby, or in the capital itself, in addition to the London Business School, the LSE and Central St Martins. Southampton, a global leader in the semantic web and home to Prof Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founders of the Open Data Institute, is also little more than an hour away.”

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