Silicon Fen

Silicon Fen

Silicon Fen (sometimes the Cambridge Cluster) is the name given to the region around Cambridge, England, which is home to a number of high-tech businesses, especially those related to software, electronics, and biotechnology. Many of these have connections with the University of Cambridge, and the area is now one of the most important technology centers in Europe. It is called ‘Silicon Fen’ by analogy with Silicon Valley in California, because it lies at the south of Fenland.

The so-called Cambridge phenomenon, giving rise to start-up companies in a town previously only having a little light industry in the electrical sector, is usually dated to the founding of the Cambridge Science Park in 1970 (an initiative of Trinity College that moved away from a traditional low-development policy for Cambridge). The area is known for a high degree of ‘networking,’ enabling people across the region to find partners, jobs, funding, and know-how. Organisations have sprung up to facilitate this process, for example the Cambridge Network.

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