The Bristol and Bath tech cluster has been widely celebrated in recent years as it increases its productivity every day – and there’s more good news for the region!

A recent study conducted by the Open Data Institute and the Digital Catapult broke down the country into 7 sectors of tech and put our cities to the innovation test based on the tech events, conferences and meetups held from a range of sources, combined with data on “academic publications, local skills measures, business start-up rates, and research and development spending”.

Bristol came out in the top 10 for its active work in Data, Health, Creative and Manufacturing, which you can see with the online interactive map.

Thinking outside of the box

The city’s success in tech is of course down to the plethora of talent that is based in Bristol, so an ode to them for being so great!

Bristol has quickly became known as a hub for creativity within all walks of life. The city’s attitude to facilitating creative minds to flourish is a huge part of why we’re all where we are today; whether this is in robotics, app development or tech incubators, our capacity to be creative has expedited many projects.

The growth of co-working spaces for creatives in tech is one of the reasons Bristol did so successfully in the study. Having places such as the Pervasive Media Studio, the Engine Shed, Desklodge and the Bristol & Bath Science Park to reside in offers a multitude of opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t find themselves in the hands of the talent.

Initiatives such as the launch of the Network for Creative Enterprise (NfCE) that are identifying and squashing the challenges creatives face are also contributing to a boom in the sector. And with established partners, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island, The Guild and the Watershed, the scheme has truly taken off.

Data enthusiasts

If your speciality is in data, Bristol is the right place for you. Pioneering projects are taking place in the city every day, from Zeetta Networks turning Ashton Gate Football Stadium into a mega test bed to Bristol is Open giving you the chance to go on a treasure hunt for next-gen 5G that put us on the data map.

Data can prove to be invaluable when building the latest tech, but you wouldn’t be alone in wishing you had a little bit more control over what happens to your own.

UWE Bristol recognised this and so established the Hub of all Things to help you reclaim your data! The professors working on the project argue as consumers we have the right to at least have a copy of all the data we’ve created. It’s this example of diversity within subtopics that makes the city what it is today.

Health tech

Using our expertise in technology we have made ground-breaking advancements in medical procedures. The things we can do to improve health services has suddenly boomed thanks to dedicated research across the entire country.

In Bristol, companies have given control back to patients with apps such as Nymbl Science, Forth with Life and Health Apps that you can use at home to optimise a healthy living lifestyle – even more hands on projects like The Right Trousers will give autonomy to those who have difficulty walking.

But there have also been changes to the operating theatre. Research into wearable robotics tools by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and UWE Bristol could make keyhole surgery much less invasive; the team are also developing smart glasses that will provide a realistic image of what is happening inside the body, for the first time ever.

Mastering Manufacturing

Bristol’s highest sector came out as manufacturing. It’s so recognised in the area that Bristol-based manufacturing company, Third Dimension, were selected to feature in a recent documentary celebrating our nation’s history of excellence in the field.

With companies like HiETA revolutionising the engineering world with its additive manufacturing techniques existing and holding events to nurture potential talent, the region stands out. There are a plethora of multinational companies who have chosen Bristol to settle in due to the opportunities in manufacturing and have since seen thriving results.

So, keep up the good work the South West!

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Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.