chapter  9
17 Pages

Promoting Local Growth in the Oxfordshire High-tech Economy: Local Institutional Settings

WithHelen Lawton Smith

This chapter shows that a range of actors playing different roles that have combined to promote the development of local resources specifically for the mainly small firm high-tech sector in Oxfordshire. The high-tech sectors in Oxfordshire have become the leading source of employment growth in the local economy. They have tended to continue the manufacturing tradition for example in instrumentation and motorsport, but are developing in 'soft-science' markets including leading-edge software and biotechnology. Policy intervention is a complex process, which is in part determined by the political agendas of the ruling political parties and the strategies adopted by local government officers. Since the early 1970s universities, property developers, local authorities, and in some countries, regional and central governments have initiated the development of prestigious property developments. A local initiative Oxford Investment Opportunity Network was established to increase the supply of local venture capital through a formal mechanism to run along side investments made by local business angels.