13 Jun 2024

Is Stockport the UK’s next Silicon Valley?

Kao Data, the specialist developer and operator of data centres engineered for AI and advanced computing, is marking the successful planning application of its £350m data centre development in Stockport with a special event to give people a glimpse of a data-driven future, empowered by AI, and a realistic ambition to become the next Silicon Valley.

On 27th June and organised in partnership with good corporate neighbours CDL and Marketing Stockport, the Data-Empowered Futures for All event will provide an opportunity to meet Kao Data’s expert management team and some of Greater Manchester’s most innovative AI and advanced computing pioneers. 

Doug Loewe, CEO at Kao Data will expand on why the company picked Stockport for its next data centre investment. He commented: “Stockport and Greater Manchester presents a new frontier for UK and European industrial scale AI, cloud and enterprise deployments and a significant opportunity to level-up the UK’s technology horizon.

The North West offers a location for AI and advanced computing that can afford a plentiful supply of brownfield land ready for redevelopment, excellent connectivity and ample power. The region is the perfect location for a new data centre cluster, especially given its proximity to Dublin’s constrained technology ecosystem.

Attendees will enjoy lightning talks from Elizabeth Scott MBE, Executive Director at Turing Innovation Catalyst Manchester; James Akrigg, Founder & CTO, Cloudy Software Ltd; Neil Pottinger, European Marketing Director at Starkey Hearing Technologies; and Matt Houghton, Data Architect at CDL and AWS ambassador. 

Naomi Timperley, Co-Founder of Tech North Advocates, will chair a panel discussion with David Bloom, Chairman of Kao DataPhil Swan Director for Digital at GMCAMarie Hamilton, GM Region Lead for Microsoft, Helen White, Co-Founder of Marketing Stockport, and Elizabeth Scott on how the data centre development will be a catalyst for technology growth in the region.

Together, the companies will explore how Stockport and Greater Manchester can further establish itself as the UK's next high-growth technology hub, providing data-empowered benefits for all. The discussion will aim to identify best practices in the region, look at ways we can encourage tech start-ups, and crucially how we can collectively inspire a new generation of young tech talent to evolve.

Joint hosts Stuart Bishop, Chief Operating Officer of CDL and Richard Higginson, Co-Founder of Marketing Stockport agreed that the vision of the borough being the next Silicon Valley was not far-fetched.

Stuart said: “Kao Data’s investment into the area will help drive its continued emergence as a centre for digital skills and innovation, at the forefront of pioneering advancements in data-enabled technologies such as AI, so we’re delighted to host this celebration of that. We look forward to seeing it accelerate the pace of developments, drawing in top talent from across the industry in the process.

Richard added: “Kao Data brings the North of England’s largest data centre, plus knowhow, vision and ambition to a tech community full of energy and promise.  We can’t wait to see the impact of their investment.

Reserve your ticket for a great night of AI inspiration, insight and networking with Kao Data, CDL and Marketing Stockport here.

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