Silicon Valley – but in the East End, promises PM

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The Independent Online

London's East End can be transformed into a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley in California, David Cameron will claim today.

Google, Facebook, Intel and McKinsey & Co are among companies which will invest in the East End, helping new small firms in the Old Street and Shoreditch areas to grow into multimillion-pound global businesses, he will say.

The Prime Minister will publish a blueprint for technology designed to make Britain "the most attractive place in the world to start and invest in innovative technology companies".

The Government will pledge £200m of equity finance and £200m for new technology and innovation centres, one of which could be in the Olympic Park. Mr Cameron will also announce the creation of US-style visas for foreign entrepreneurs who start businesses in the UK and a review of copyright laws to make them "fit for the internet age" after Google said it could never have set up in Britain.

Speaking in east London, Mr Cameron will say: "We're not just going to back the big businesses of today, we're going to back the big businesses of tomorrow. We are firmly on the side of the high-growth, highly innovative companies of the future. Don't doubt our ambition. Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for hi-tech growth and innovation. But there's no reason why it has to be so predominant."

Google will create an "innovation hub" creative space for its researchers to work with developers and academics, while Facebook will create a permanent home for its programme bringing together talented developers and entrepreneurs and Intel will set up a new research laboratory.