Essex is the location of choice for high technology businesses seeking world-class knowledge, highly skilled personnel, access to specialist funding and global connectivity. Leading hi-tech businesses in Essex include: BAE Systems, Teledyne e2v, Raytheon, Visteon, and Leonardo.

With close proximity to both Cambridge and London, Essex provides businesses with easy access to the UK’s major centres of technology innovation and funding, in combination with a significantly reduced cost base.

The companies in Essex’s hi-tech cluster research, develop, and manufacture products across diverse technology areas including ICT, electronics, optics, sensors, precision engineering, quantum technology, smart mobility/infrastructure and serves industry sectors including:

• Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space (Including Raytheon, BAE Systems, Leonardo, and Maycast-Nokes)
• Automotive and Transportation
• Life Sciences and Healthcare
• Renewable Energies

See our Essex Location Map for more businesses in the hi-tech sector.

Knowledge and Innovation

Essex is located at the heart of the London-Stansted-Cambridge UK Innovation Corridor, providing businesses with direct access to world-leading research, development capabilities and collaborative networks:

  • Essex offers research parks that are just 35 minutes’ drive time from the University of Cambridge – the world’s No.2 ranked university
  • Essex provides easy access to two of the top three ranked universities for Engineering and Technology – the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London (Times Higher Education rankings, 2019)
  • The University of Essex is a UK Top 20 ranked university for research excellence (REF, 2014), was ranked 22nd overall in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and was also presented with their University of the Year award in the same year
  • In 2015, Nesta identified Essex as a UK ‘High-Tech and Creative Economy Hotspot’

Hi-Tech Workforce

Essex can deliver the highly skilled people and first-class education provision required by hi-tech businesses . . .

  • Essex provides businesses with access to the large-scale knowledge workforces of Cambridge and Greater London – both within commutable distance
  • Essex is home to the UK’s 2nd largest advanced engineering cluster, comprising 4,000 companies and 41,000 people employed, as well as an additional 200,000 advanced engineering workers within commutable distance
  • Essex has the further and higher education infrastructure needed to provide high-technology companies with a pipeline of skilled, qualified personnel. 2,400 students enrol each year in engineering, technology and computer sciences courses, and fully funded Knowledge Exchange Placements allow Masters students to work on company projects related to their courses

Hi-Tech Business Accomodation

Essex can provide state-of-the-art research, technology and business park accommodation for hi-tech companies, including . . .

  • Harlow Enterprise Zone – strategically located between London and Cambridge, with direct access to the M11 and London Stansted Airport
  • Medbic Business Innovation Centre – located on the Anglia Ruskin University campus, providing high-specification accommodation for medical and advanced engineering technology businesses
Anglia Ruskin Medical School

Hi-Tech Low Cost

Essex provides high-technology businesses with value-adding benefits combined with significant cost savings:

  • Overall, market rents in Essex are 33% cheaper than the London average (Glenny, 2018)
  • Essex has lower property costs than Cambridge averages
  • Major savings on labour costs in Essex for a typical research and development facility versus competitor UK hi-tech locations

Access to Specialist Funding

As part of the London-Essex UK Finance Corridor, Essex offers proximity to the major technology business funding centres of London and Cambridge, providing companies with direct access to potential sources of bank, equity, venture capital or business angel finance. As well as this, there is also the potential for hi-tech companies to gain access to grants ranging between £25,000 and £10 million from Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body which provides funding to businesses with innovative ideas.

SMEs can find out more about the access to funding opportunities provided by Invest ESSEX by clicking here.


UK and International Connectivity

Essex delivers unbeaten access to UK and international markets, for business people, freight and data . . .

  • Just 30 minutes from London’s global business hub (by train)
  • Prestigious business locations just 35 minutes from Cambridge (drive time)
  • Direct access to the UK motorway network via M25, London’s orbital motorway, and M11
  • 6 London airports within 1.15 hours drive time (including London Heathrow), delivering comprehensive global connectivity
  • ‘The UK’s Multimodal Gateway’ – 4 international deep sea ports, 6 rail freight terminals and the UK’s 3rd largest cargo airport (London Stansted) in Essex
  • UK top-ranked broadband internet coverage (Ofcom rank: 1)

If you are interested in opportunities within any of the following areas: aerospace; data analytics; AI (artificial intelligence); machine learning; quantum; aviation; satellites; hybrid; smart mobility; sensors; connected and autonomous vehicles; smart infrastructure; additive manufacturing, 3D printing, CNC machining, plasma cutting and rapid prototyping; precision engineering; nondestructive testing, then contact us here.