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Vodafone investment boosts east London Tech City

Vodafone has announced it will open a new technology and incubation centre in Tech City, Europe's fastest growing digital hub.

The ICT company says the new centre will provide innovative businesses in the mobile Internet and creative media industries with technical expertise, potential financial assistance, logistical support and access to more than 400 million Vodafone customers across more than 30 countries worldwide.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne praised the investment as he spoke at the latest in a series of business summits being held in London to capitalise on the Olympics by attracting international investment.

He announced a trio of investments in east London's Tech City technology hub including Vodafone along with Barclays and Tokyo-based mobile social gaming company GREE.

"Taken together, these major investments represent a triple whammy for Tech City," Osborne said.

"Coming so quickly after the announcements from Facebook and Amazon, British technology has hit a purple patch.

"You will not find a country anywhere in the world that is more open to technology, more open to investment and more open for business.

"We're putting in place the right vision and the right policies to help your company succeed right here in the UK.

"That's why the world's leading technology companies are beating a path to our shores.

"And that's why we will continue to do everything we can to help technology investors and entrepreneurs invest, innovate and succeed in the UK."

Vodafone said the decision to locate the new centre in Tech City built on the success of 'Vodafone xone', which opened in Silicon Valley a year ago and identifies innovative US start-ups and helps them move quickly to market.

“I warmly welcome Vodafone’s plans to open a technology lab and incubation centre in London’s Tech City," said Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green.

"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.”

Osborne urged technology businesses to set up or boost UK bases, telling guests: "We will do everything we can to help you innovate and succeed right here in this country."

He added that the government was "leading the world" in supporting technology companies and claimed ministers were pulling out all the stops to ensure the globe's top technology investors had everything they need to succeed in Britain.

“Vodafone is delighted to confirm its intention to set up a new R&D and incubation centre in Tech City," said Siavash Alamouti, Vodafone Group research and development director.

"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.”

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