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Overview - East of England

The East of England is recognised as one of the most important technology regions in the world. Already home to over 1500 foreign-owned facilities, the region is currently attracting record levels of new investment. Companies are attracted by the combination of university research, new start-ups and major multi-nationals working side by side, with an established network of world renowned centres of excellence located throughout the East of England.

The region, which comprises the six counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex , Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk , offers an excellent skills base and infrastructure, reflecting the advanced nature of the economy worth $100 billion per annum.

The East of England enjoys an unrivalled location, adjacent to London , the heartland of England and offering quick access to the rest of Europe . A fast and efficient transport infrastructure includes first class road and rail links, as well as four international airports offering access to key cities in Europe and around the world. Growth sectors include ICT, life sciences, electronics, business and financial services, automotive components, engineering and food processing.

The region is home to a strong infrastructure of ICT businesses including major international companies such as Adobe and Microsoft, and rapidly growing young companies like Autonomy and Zeus.

The region has the largest cluster of life sciences companies and research in Europe . The biotech industry in Cambridge is known worldwide with the famed Sanger Centre leading the Human Genome project. Elsewhere, the University of East Anglia and the Norwich Research Park house Europe 's largest group of food and agri-scientists. Glaxo Wellcome’s Medicine Research Centre in Stevenage and SmithKline Beecham’s New Frontier Research Park in Harlow are among a large number of research centres in the region. BT’s Adastral Park research centre in Ipswich is home to over 4000 scientists developing advanced telecoms products.

The region’s diverse OEM electronics manufacturing base also encircles strengths in its components and scientific instruments. It is home to the Who’s Who’ of world leading electronics companies - Motorola, Nortel, Raytheon, Nokia and Philips. There are also advanced engineering clusters in chip design, opto-electronics and wireless communications equipment, in addition to leading-edge research in semi-conductors, opto-electronics, microwave technology and speech recognition.

Proximity to London and the availability of skilled customer service and data processing personnel has created a strong business services sector in the region. Investors with significant support centres include Thomas Cook, Norwich Union, Virgin, First Data Resources, Hewitt Associates and AXA.

The region is home to GM, Ford, Lotus and IBC automotive assembly plants. It is the second largest concentration of automotive component manufacturers in the UK and a major centre for automotive R&D including Ford, GM, Nissan and Lotus R&D and world class universities. There is also strong growth in sectors such as automotive electronics and design, with OEM’s investing in new model production.

The East of England is a leading location for low volume, high technology engineering. It is also one of Europe ’s premier food production and processing locations, including food science, research, crop production, processing and leading edge distribution.

In addition, the region is world famous for its off-shore industry that includes companies Amoco, Shell and British Petroleum. The East of England is the UK ’s second largest energy manufacturing and services base. However, more recently the thriving offshore industry is now complemented by the numerous initiatives to develop the region’s rich resources in the renewable energy sector. Our prime location and extensive coastline offer significant emerging opportunities in wind-generated energy such as the wind farms at Somerton and Swaffham. In fact, the Ecotricity turbine at Swaffham’s EcoTech Centre, built by Next Generation, is one of the largest and most powerful in the UK . Meanwhile Powergen Renewables Offshore Wind is working with regional partners on the first major offshore wind farm in the UK - on Scroby Sands, near Great Yarmouth.

Invest East of England hope to welcome you to our region. Our sector-focused Business Development Managers and network of regional partners are ideally suited to understanding your business needs and deliver practical solutions to ensure your next strategic move is a success.

This document owned by , last published 20/05/2004.

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