Cambridge named most ‘AI-ready city’ in new report


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Cambridge is the most “AI-ready city” in the UK, new research from a leading AI and analytics specialist has revealed.

According to SAS’s AI-readiness Index, Cambridge is number one (outside of London) when it comes to AI-related jobs, R&D spend, GDP, business growth, and the number of relevant academic courses available.

The index, which focused on seven different AI-related criteria, found that Cambridge has 802 AI-related jobs within a 5-mile radius – over 100 more than Salford, which ranked second for this metric.

Cambridge also has a 43.2% five-year business growth rate, and one of the highest volumes of research and development spend at £347.97m.

Cambridge is home to a number of AI startups, including AI-powered drug discovery firm Healx, and public companies like cybersecurity specialist Darktrace.

Hot on Cambridge’s heels when it comes to AI readiness is Oxford, with Manchester, Salford, and Edinburgh rounding out the top five.

Glynn Townsend, senior director of education services at SAS for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “AI, machine learning and data analytics are transforming the way businesses and other organisations operate, and the fact that so many cities are embracing it is a positive sign.

“Many [cities], such as Manchester and Salford, are outside London and the Southeast, which is good news for the government’s ‘levelling up’ plans.”

He added: “At the same time, our research also shows large discrepancies between the most and least-prepared areas. Size and the remoteness of the location might explain why some are lagging behind – but it’s important they’re given opportunities to get up to speed.”

“For a start, the UK doesn’t have enough data talent to meet the demand for AI, so we need to increase the talent pool with more opportunities for people to upskill and reskill, instead of only relying on graduates.”


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