This article first appeared in the Samphire Club Magazine, written by Robin Daniels.
From space, Cornwall has a coastline that is instantly recognisable. Its landscape, cuisine and affinity with the sea is known around the world. Slightly less well understood perhaps is Cornwall’s pivotal role in Atlantic cable and submarine telegraphy. And how many know of Richard Trevithick, the 18th Century pioneer of engine technologies that would, along with inventions of his contemporaries, go on to form the backbone of the Industrial Revolution? Perhaps not many beyond Saltash. So now, as the world enters the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution, Cornwall’s innovation landscape looks set for a new renaissance, and this time there will be no doubt as to who’s leading the charge. The fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological realms is bringing with it new opportunities unimaginable to those early pioneers.
For the last 18 years the Devon & Cornwall Business Council has worked side by side with organisations from across the public and private sectors keen to help ensure that Cornwall reaches its potential. As the South West Business Council (SWBC) we have now taken on the mantle of a larger geography and an economy worth over £30 billion per year. Our mission is to create new opportunities for organisations of all sizes and from all sectors across the region and, as a region, to take our products and services to global markets. The scale and scope of our ambition is bigger than ever, and Cornwall is key to our success.
From space, Cornwall has centres of world leading research, the phenomenal asset of Goonhilly, a thriving creative and tourism sector, a world-renowned food and drink sector – and with 95% of the county serviced by fibre-optics, it is the most connected county in the UK. Cornwall is now home to a booming software development sector and last year was ranked as the second fastest growing technology cluster in the country. This is a place that can attract investment, a place where people want to live, work and grow their businesses.
And of course, not content with being visible from space, Cornwall wants to be the UK’s route into it.
As SWBC continues to form new partnerships at home and internationally, to vigorously engage with policy makers, to focus on the big challenges that face us all and to promote our region on a global platform, we know that our strongest suit has Cornwall front and centre. For SWBC, Cornwall is in our DNA, and looking forward we’re excited to support the next generation of entrepreneurs – those businesses that will ensure an indelible mark on this latest Industrial Revolution, and a legacy that Richard Trevithick would be proud of.
The South West Business Council is the economic partnership for the South West of the UK. For more information, including how to join, go to www.swbc.co.uk