Oxford recognised as one of the UK’s leading tech hubs as 72,000 job openings are advertised in the city

  • Oxford has been identified as one of the top 15 tech clusters in Tech Nation’s Bright Tech Future Jobs and Skills report
  • The university city is home to five unicorns, while 106 digital tech firms have been started there in the past three years
  • During 2018 more than 72,000 tech jobs were advertised in the city
  • More than a quarter of those working in the city are in the digital tech sector
  • Salaries in Oxford’s tech sector are 5.9% higher than the average salary in the city
  • To celebrate these successes and present the findings of its report, Tech Nation is embarking on a regional tour of the leading clusters
  • Each stop on the tour will bring together local tech companies, universities, policy makers and investors to share and collaborate on how to strengthen the UK’s tech sector
  • Tech Nation is also working with the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport’s Digital Economy Council to launch the Bright Tech Future awards

Oxford’s tech sector had more than 72,000 job openings in 2018 and a quarter of employment in the city is now provided by the digital tech sector, according to figures from Tech Nation.

The figures on Oxford’s tech sector confirm the city’s standing as a leading tech hub and are published as Tech Nation, the UK network for ambitious entrepreneurs, and the Digital Economy Council visit Oxford as part of the Bright Tech Future series of roundtable discussions on the challenges the sector faces to recruit skilled talent.

Oxford’s tech sector contributed £1.8bn in revenue to the economy last year and employs 37,458 people, according to Tech Nation’s Bright Tech Future Jobs and Skills report. The city is responsible for creating five of the UK’s leading tech unicorns – nanopore sequencing company Nanopore, data protection company Sophos, biotechnology therapy company Immunocore, cancer treatment company Adaptimmune and clinical-stage biotechnology company BioVex.

Recent figures on venture capital investment into the UK tech sector showed that 2019 is turning into an exceptional year for the country as a whole, with $6.7bn invested in tech companies so far this year. Oxford is one of the leading 15 towns in the country, for receiving scaleup investment – investment for companies that are ready to expand internationally.

One Oxford-based enterprise contributing to the high investment figures is biopharma company Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which raised £100 million in its last round in 2018. Electric car start-up, Yasa also raised £18m in funding from investors including Oxford Science Innovation and a Canadian investor, earlier this month. The South East of England in general has attracted 30% of all tech investment in the UK over the last twelve years.

In common with tech sectors across the country, the jobs in tech in Oxford pay about 5.9% more than non-digital tech jobs, with the average salary in the sector at £36,000.

To celebrate Oxford’s breadth and depth of digital tech talent, Tech Nation will hold a roundtable discussion for its Bright Tech Future tour in the city on 19 September. The event will be hosted at Said Business School by Saul Klein, co-founder of LocalGlobe, Seedcamp and Lovefilm.

Tech Nation is working closely with the Digital Economy Council and DCMS to recognise the critical role that tech workers who don’t hold executive roles play in creating the UK’s most successful growing tech companies. To do this it has launched the Bright Tech Future awards, aimed at the 99% of workers in the tech sector, rather than the founders and CEOs. To find out more about the awards and to nominate up to three team members, go to this awards website.

Digital Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “Oxford has always been a world leader in research and innovation, with notable achievements including the discovery of the world’s largest prime number and the world’s first computer to use transistors.

“More recently Oxford has seen a new generation of fast-growing tech-enabled ‘unicorns’ including Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Sophos, a global leader in cyber security. Other startups are also setting their sights high and are rapidly creating jobs and drive growth in the city.

“So I am delighted some of the city’s best talent is coming together today to discuss how we can
further strengthen the UK’s reputation as Europe’s leading digital tech player. I also encourage bosses to nominate their staff for the inaugural Tech Nation Bright Tech Future Awards.”

Rafel Jorda Siquier, CEO of Open Cosmos, said: “There are very few locations in the world with such a rich heritage in science and creating technology businesses and innovation as Oxford. Having
like-minded diverse people within our local network has been key to allow Open Cosmos double size every 6 months and become one of the leading newspace companies in the world.”

George Windsor, Head of Insights at Tech Nation said: “Oxford has cemented its position as one of the UK’s leading tech hubs. The Tech Nation reports have shown how it continues to attract healthy investment and nurture successful unicorn businesses. This event will be a perfect opportunity for us to collate valuable insights needed to shape the future of the industry.”