Operator to help young firms develop mobile and digital ideas into products with technical and logistical support, as well as potential funding
Vodafone is to open a technology centre in East London to help firms develop new products and build innovative technology companies.
The centre will provide expertise logistical support and potential funding to mobile and creative media firms. It will also offer the firms access to its more than 400 million Vodafone customers across 30 countries.
The centre, which is due to open towards the end of this year, follows the establishment of Vodafone;s first technology centre in Silicon Valley in the US last year.
Called xone, the Silicon Valley centre is designed to help US startups develop and get to market rapidly.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “I warmly welcome Vodafone’s plans to open a technology lab and incubation centre in London’s Tech City. This announcement is an excellent reflection of Tech City’s success as a thriving hub of innovative technology companies, combined with ready access to Europe’s largest venture capital community.”
“With the world’s spotlight on the UK this summer, we are working hard through the British Business Embassy programme to help technology companies capitalise on the unique opportunity we have in 2012 to secure new trade and investment.”
Vodafone Group research and development director Siavash Alamouti said: “Vodafone is delighted to confirm its intention to set up a new R&D and incubation centre in Tech City. This exciting new centre will build on our existing Vodafone xone facility in Silicon Valley, giving cutting-edge British high tech start-ups access to the expertise and global reach of Britain’s largest ICT company.”
“We believe that the great talent, entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of start-up companies, in both the mobile internet and creative media industries, that are to be found in East London, make Tech City a great location for this centre.”
Vodafone’s decision to open the technology centre follows hard on the heels of the opening of the London Wayra academy, the tenth incubator set up by O2 parent Telefonica to provide a similar kind of support to young companies in the digital sector.