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This thread is for any news on business in the city.

Business expansion, closure and moves effect development unexpectedly.

News such as the article below indicate that Sheffield might be able to fill office space or increase demand through IT and tech businesses.

UK tech start-up scene boosted by new investments

The UK tech start-up scene has been boosted by a flurry of deals in London, Belfast, Milton Keynes and Sheffield.

The announcements include investments by Vodafone and Barclays designed to support start-ups; and the opening of a video games studio by one of Japan's richest businessmen.

The news was timed to coincide with the Olympics to maximise publicity.

It follows recent announcements from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Intel and Skype about new projects in London.

Tech City - a hub of digital and creative businesses located in East London - accounts for the bulk of the latest news, including:

  • Vodafone technology lab - a research and development centre that aims to identify promising start-ups, provide them with office space and bring in its own experts to co-develop, trial and market their products in return for a stake in the businesses.

  • Gree studio - the Tokyo-based app maker will develop titles for its social gaming platform out of the city. The firm's chief executive is a self-made billionaire and is rated Japan's fifth richest man by Forbes magazine.
  • Morning Boost - a new "accelerator" offering start-ups mentorship, a small amount of money and an introduction to potential investors in return for a minor stake in their business. It is backed by a group of Italians and should create about 50 jobs.
  • Central Working club - a centre offering meeting rooms, storage, stationary and networking opportunities in return for a monthly fee. It will be the firm's third UK club and has been backed by Barclays bank.

Vodafone's incubator centre is modelled on an operation it already runs in the US's Silicon Valley

Software and services
Elsewhere, Sophia Search - a University of Ulster spin-out which provides software tools to help firms catalogue and analyse their data - has secured $3.7m (£2.4m) of investment allowing it to hire new staff in both the UK and US.

Airwatch - a US company that helps companies manage what apps and content are installed on their employees' smartphones and tablets - has announced plans to hire 75 new staff, doubling the size of its European headquarters in Milton Keynes.

And Tribal - a British software service provider to the training industry - is creating 40 new posts in Sheffield after winning more than £32m worth of contracts from Australia and New Zealand.

Further details will be announced at a London event organised by the government's UK Trade and Investment department to take advantage of the fact the Olympics have attracted many foreign officials and business leaders to the city.

"The government is determined to make Britain the technology centre of Europe, with London's Tech City at its heart," said Chancellor George Osborne ahead of the event.

London's tech ambitions face competition from elsewhere in Europe.

Berlin, Tallinn, Barcelona and Paris are among other cities with rising start-up scenes, while slightly further afield Israel's "Silicon Wadi" - based in and around Tel Aviv - has also benefited from its links to the Israeli military.

However, over recent months London has been able to claim several coups.

In April, Microsoft's Skype division announced it was creating about 100 posts to help upgrade its video chat program and work on a version for Xbox games consoles.

In May, chipmaker Intel said it was opening a centre in the capital to test "smart city" technologies using sensors to monitor and adjustment things such as water supplies, traffic flows and air pollution.

Many big names in tech have set up research centres in and around Tel Aviv
Then in July, Amazon revealed plans to build a media development centre in the city to improve its on-demand TV and movie services, which include Lovefilm.

The same month Facebook said it was creating its first engineering team outside of the US. Although the team only involves 12 people, the firm said it intended to recruit more once they had settled in.

Google has also set up a "creator space" at its Soho office to help members of its YouTube service create professional-looking videos.

The facility includes a green screen to allow users to be superimposed over pre-filmed backdrops as well as professional editing suites and cameras
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19091635
 

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Has Sheffield been one of the very few large UK cities to miss out on the Government's scitywide superfast broadband cash? Bit poor if one of the city's target business sectors is "digital industries".

Original announcement of competition (14 cities invited, including Sheff):
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/8730.aspx

This week's announcement of winners:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19651311
BT has done nothing in Sheffield to help. We are behind all other areas of South Yorkshire in terms of fast broadband. Two of the main exchanges (Sheffield and Woodseats) do not have 'Fibre to The Cabinet' (FTTC), nor does there seem to be any timescales/dates for installation either. Contrast this to Barnsley, where most exchanges have had FTTC installed for at least a year (my sister, who lives in a small village about 8 miles NE of Barnsley had BT Infinity (via FTTC) since before last Christmas). Why has BT been allowed to treat Sheffield in this way??

You can check broadband speeds and the state of your local exchange at:

https://www.samknows.com/broadband/broadband_availability
 

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FTTC isn't just about the exchange though. I believe most of Woodseats has a date of 31/12/2012 and Sheffield is rolling out now (cos I've seen some of the new Digital Region Fibre cabinets being installed this week).

Believe it or not, a lot of it is due to planning constraints, which will be lifted now.
 

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FTTC isn't just about the exchange though. I believe most of Woodseats has a date of 31/12/2012 and Sheffield is rolling out now (cos I've seen some of the new Digital Region Fibre cabinets being installed this week).

Believe it or not, a lot of it is due to planning constraints, which will be lifted now.
That's good to know. Thanks.

I just wonder how small villages, 8 miles from Barnsley, and 5 miles from the exchange can get all of this installed about 18 months before Sheffield City Centre.
 

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I imagine it'll be less complicated and cheaper to out fit those ones, as the amount of switching equipment will be less.
 

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That's good to know. Thanks.

I just wonder how small villages, 8 miles from Barnsley, and 5 miles from the exchange can get all of this installed about 18 months before Sheffield City Centre.
Because if you're 5 miles from the exchange, you'll have a speed of around 1Mbps. Nowhere in Sheffield (urban city proper - not talking about Worral, Bradfield etc) is any more than about 1.5 miles from the exchange, so already has acceptable speeds in excess of the UK average, which is 7.6Mbps. In broadband speed - as in life - we should increase the average by giving to those worst off, not to those better off. If I may extend the metaphor, we need to narrow the gap between 'rich' and 'poor'.

My local telephone exchange, Wadsley Bridge, will start rolling out OR's FTTC by the end of the year, but I still don't understand why they bother? I can already get 120Mbps with Virgin Media and 100+Mbps with Digital Region - why would I want BT's 'up to 76Mbps' Infinity FTTC product? it makes no sense for them to waste money installing here.

Pity the poor buggers in East Anglia, many of whom do not yet even receive ADSL2+ over 21CN, and have to live with ADSL Max. Or worst yet, those Scots outside (especially north of) the central belt, who can only get IPStream 500kbps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Net company growth booms in Sheffield
Sheffield has seen a 38% increase in net company growth during the first half of 2012. The company register increased by 615 between January and June, compared to 447 during the same period in 2011.
Sheffield is the fourth largest city in the UK, and a recent survey showed that it is the fastest growing city outside London for office and residential space. The UK Cities Monitor 2008 placed Sheffield among the top ten "best cities to locate a business", a fact which is backed up by this year's rise in net company growth.
In 2011, Sheffield city centre became a government enterprise zone. Businesses setting up there are now offered a package of financial, planning and support incentives. These include valuable capital allowances and Business Rate Relief schemes for small businesses, as well as simplified planning procedures and access to super-fast broadband.
"Sheffield is an exciting place to set up a business, and the rate of net company growth shows that it is becoming more and more popular as a location for start-ups," said Managing Director of Duport, Peter Valaitis.
"Our latest report shows many more positive statistics for the city, including some record-breaking months for company formation."
Duport Business Confidence Reports are published quarterly for every area of the UK. The report for Sheffield gives an economic overview of the city, providing data on everything from company closures to information on director age and gender.
Duport Business Confidence Reports are generated and released by Duport Associates Ltd. The data contained in these reports is assimilated and analysed by Duport using public record data from sources including Companies House, Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey. Duport Associates Ltd is a leading UK company formation agent, established in 1997 and registering around 10,000 new companies each year through its Companies House approved software.
http://sheff.biz/87893
 

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Money money coming Yorkshire's way. A lot of it seems to be heading to West Yorkshire, but the University gets a mention. Can't say I'm familiar with any of the companies to say where in our region they're located

Yorkshire economy set for £100m injection
19th October 2012

inShare
Share:By James Reed - Deputy Editor, YorkshireGuzelian Photography – www.guzelian.co.uk
BUSINESSES and local enterprise partnerships in Yorkshire have won more than £100m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund to help create thousands of jobs.

The bulk of the money will be shared by the local enterprise partnerships covering the Humber and the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions to spend on a range of activities designed to boost the local economy.

In addition, 10 companies and Leeds City Council will together receive £26m to spend on specific projects in Yorkshire that promise to create or safeguard more than 4,000 jobs and unlock £953m of private sector investment.

The University of Sheffield will be handed £10m to lead a national scheme.

The successful companies are:

AESSEAL PLC
ATB Morley Ltd
BorgWarner Ltd
Cementation Skanska Limited
DePuy International Ltd
Harvard Engineering
Hydra-Valve Advanced Valve & Pipeline Solutions Ltd
J H Fenner & Co Ltd
Koyo Bearings (Europe) Limited
Leeds City Council
Redirack Ltd

In all, the Government is today handing out £1bn from the Regional Growth Fund which was created by the Coalition to try and kickstart the economy in areas previously heavily dependent on the public sector for jobs.

Ministers have also announced a faster process for securing RGF money after criticism that cash announced in previous rounds has taken too long to reach companies and organisations.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "Round three created a lot of high-quality demand for the fund which made the decision process very tough. However the selected bidders represent a good breadth of different sectors and a strong distribution across the country.

“The selection process has been very fast - from companies applying to allocating funds in only five months. So we are keen to get a move on which is why this time, those selected have now only three months to agree final offers, and three months to complete due diligence. We want to ensure good value for the taxpayer and to get these projects started as soon as possible."

On a visit to Liverpool, Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Government was open to expanding the Regional Growth Fund further.

He told TheBusinessDesk.com: "We don't need a fourth round at the moment as it will take some time for this latest round to come through, but we've got an open mind as to whether the programme should continue, we'll see over the next couple of months."

He added: "There are still some very serious problems in the economy - we've not had growth for quite a long time, serious problems remain in the banks, in our main export market. Our great strength though is that we are financially stable and the employment position has held up remarkably well."

Asked about Labour's criticism over the impact of RGF on delivering jobs and economic growth, he said: "I think the criticsm misses the point somewhat, these are predominantly private enterprises, and while there have been some delays, which is inevitable ion a programme of this size, for ever £1 of money we're putting in it's leveraging £6 of private sector investment."
and a bit more here, including:

The Sheffield City Region is set to use £25m to work with 27 companies to that will in turn unlock £100m and create 1,500 jobs.

James Newman, the LEP's chairman, said: "This bid has been several months in planning and a lot of hard work has gone into getting it right – it brings together dozens of companies with robust plans for growth.

“It is now crucial that we focus on the delivery of this ambitious programme, and we look forward to working with our partners, Government and local businesses.

“The Sheffield City Region LEP’s programme will demonstrate that a small amount of funding can unlock significantly more direct private sector investment – leading to growth and sustainable, private sector employment.”
 

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http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/regiona-growth-fund-nuclear-manufacturing-sheffield-1.220685

Regional Growth Fund award to the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in partnership with Rolls-Royce

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has today (30 October 2012) announced an award of £37.1 million to the University of Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), who are working in partnership with Rolls-Royce as the lead company for the UK Nuclear supply chain.

The Regional Growth Fund is designed to support a ‘programme of supplier development and manufacturing research and development to create value in the UK that would otherwise migrate overseas.’

The Nuclear AMRC has been awarded the funds – subject to the usual due diligence - to support its large-scale programme of supplier development and manufacturing research in partnership with key industrial members. The programme focuses on the Civil Nuclear new-build industry, but has broad applicability across the Nuclear value chain and other industries in the Energy sector.

Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Professor Keith Ridgway, said: “We are delighted with the announcement of this very important support from the Regional Growth Fund and the understanding from the Government about just how vital this work is to the UK economy. The programme we are operating at the Nuclear AMRC is ambitious and high-impact when compared to other supplier development initiatives, providing strong support for UK suppliers with aspirations to address the global Civil Nuclear new build opportunity, and creating process technology and intellectual property that will enable export-led growth and long-term competitive advantage for UK supply chains.

"This is a vital opportunity for British manufacturing companies, and we want to support the supply chain in developing the skills to operate in this high value market, in the same way as we have so successfully worked together in relation to aerospace. It is believed that this market could be worth more than £500 billion over the next ten years."

The news comes as Britain's nuclear expansion plans were boosted today after Japan's Hitachi signed a £700 million deal that will enable it to start building the next generation of power plants. The facilities, which could be feeding electricity into the national grid in the first half of the 2020s, are expected to generate power equivalent to up to 14 million homes over 60 years.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the Regional Growth Fund award: "Our energy sector is a vital part of our economy, and we are determined to maximise the opportunities for the UK from the nuclear and low carbon industries.

"This is an innovative Regional Growth Fund project, which will help our businesses win new orders, both here and abroad. Building strong supply chains, and long term partnerships between Government, industry and universities is a key part of the Government’s industrial strategy, and this is embodied in the work of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre."

Professor Stephen Court, Operations Director at the Nuclear AMRC added: "The Nuclear AMRC is a prime example of the kind of partnership approach which is so important to our future as world-leading manufacturers. Combining industry expertise and university innovation, we work with companies to improve capabilities and performance along the nuclear supply chain. The key to our success is that our members are the manufacturers themselves, and our dedication to helping UK businesses become suppliers of choice to the global civil nuclear industry.

"To do that, we work with supply chain companies to enhance their technical capability to compete on cost, quality and delivery. We also give manufacturers clarity and knowledge on nuclear codes and standards, which helps them to meet and exceed the demanding requirements of this industry. We complement this with the training and skills development which ensures that companies are able to comply with the strict requirements of this industry."

Today’s announcement follows a string of successes for the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, whose founding principles of in-depth collaboration between research and manufacturing industry has led to the award of a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize and the naming of the AMRC as Boeing Supply Chain Company of the Year in 2010.
 

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No, we didn't miss out we have got/getting it first.

http://www.digitalregion.co.uk/
Looking back at the debate about Superfast Broadband in Sheffield and S Yorks I recalled the final sentence on the Digital Region homepage "South Yorkshire now has a communications infrastructure that is world class and our region is a UK leader in broadband technology." That was in Sept 2012.

Contrast this hype then with the latest Centre for Cities Report for Government which contains SFBB-penetration statistics up to 2012 for the 63 biggest towns and cities in the UK. Sheffield ranks 56th!!:eek:hno:

http://www.centreforcities.org/assets/files/2013/CITIES_OUTLOOK_2013_FINAL.pdf

Anyone able to explain this?
Does it mean the infrastructure is top class but the take up is pathetic? 56th out of 63 doesn't sound like a national hub of 'digital and creative industry' activity to me.
 

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Large swathes of the city region classed as "rural" and their broadband was delayed, I'd guess.
 
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