Silicon Gorge (Bristol, UK)
The Silicon Gorge is a colloquial term used to describe an area of the United Kingdom that encompasses the Bristol, Swindon and Gloucester triangle in England. This area is so-named because of the heavy influence that can be felt from the technology industry here. The Avon Gorge is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts here and is a major geographical landmark. In keeping with the tradition of naming high-tech centers using the formula of adding "Silicon" before a major geographical feature of the area, the name of the area has become the Silicon Gorge. As one of the leading tech centers in England, this triangle of towns and suburbs sees some of the most consistent employment numbers in England.
The History of the Silicon Gorge
After World War II, materials production in the United Kingdom fell starkly. As the need for production was surpassed by the need for rebuilding, the nation quickly lost many manufacturing jobs to other countries that had not been so hard hit by Hitler's Germany. While many traditional manual labor jobs remained, there was not nearly as much as needed. This was further exacerbated d by returning soldiers from the war who now needed employment.
As other areas of the United Kingdom began to see the benefits of turning toward technological development as a source of consistent economic growth, the cities of the Silicon Gorge began to take notice. Though the efforts to develop a technology industry in this part of England was not a unified effort between these cities, the ample shared resources of the cities has helped to engender this bond. Now, the area is ranked as the fourth-largest and most productive of its kind in the entire country of England. This makes it a great location for a number of different industries, and many large companies are either headquartered here or base a large amount of their operations out of here.
Large Companies in the Silicon Gorge
One of the seven worldwide branches of HP Labs is located within the Silicon Gorge in Bristol. HP Labs is considered an "exploratory" research organization tasked with the research and development needed to devise new technologies. They operate under the well-known technology brand "HP" and the Bristol HP Labs office employs a number of people in a variety of disciplines. HP maintains a large overall presence throughout the United Kingdom, though their lab in Bristol is one of only a few pure research arms.
Though headquartered in Santa Clara, California, graphics card maker NVIDIA maintains a large operation in the Silicon Gorge. Located in Bristol, the NVIDIA operation in the United Kingdom employs a number of engineers and skilled personnel in the manufacture of top-quality graphics cards. NVIDIA graphics cards are considered by many to be essential graphics cards for multimedia professionals and for hardcore gaming enthusiasts. Unlike many other electronics that face strong import fees when shipping to the United Kingdom, NVIDIA's operation in Bristol allows it to reach customers in the United Kingdom for a reasonable cost.
Oxford Instruments is perhaps one of the largest and most historically-revered technology companies in the Silicon Gorge. It is one of the world's largest independently-owned developers of medical and general scientific research tools. Its operations span across four continents, and the company has been integral in the development of a number of very significant medical diagnostic tools. For example, Oxford Instruments played an instrumental role in the development of magnetic resonance imaging technology. This technology went on to be put to use as a means of detecting medical ailments like cancer much earlier on than was previously possible.
You'll find more Silicon Gorge companies on Actual Bristol.
The Impact of the Silicon Gorge on the Local Economy
The local economy has seen nothing but benefits from the development of the Silicon Gorge over the years. As the gorge has developed over time, so too has the economic stability of the region. More reliance upon emerging technological industries has placed a higher premium on education. This has, in turn, done quite a lot to attract even more businesses to the area. Access to the educated workforce these business owners need can be an integral component of their decision on where to place their operations. All in all, the development of the Silicon Gorge has been a net gain for this area of England.
Reliance on Technology is the Way Forward
Every day, the world becomes more and more reliant upon what scientists and engineers are able to accomplish. Despite this, there are dropping numbers of scientists and engineers coming out of the United Kingdom. The Silicon Gorge is a place that helps to shed light on the positive impacts that come hand in hand with the development of a strong technology sector in the economy. As local officials see it, shifting toward a technology-based economy is the only steady way forward.