Eric Schmidt confirms ‘Innovation Hub’ for Silicon Roundabout

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt may have been followed by a media furore over the past week, but the chief executive (CEO) of Google made a quiet entrance to Downing Street yesterday to talk business with the Government.

Although few details have been released about the meeting, Downing Street and Google confirmed to IT PRO discussions took place regarding "economic growth" in the UK and "the role technology [could] play" in helping a recovery.

The main focus was on Google's plans for the proposed Silicon Roundabout site around Old Street, stretching out into the East End of London.

Back in November, David Cameron announced plans to make the area a hub for technology companies, putting up to 400 million of investment into both financing businesses and building dedicated structures for the companies.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to IT PRO the company planned to create "an Innovation Hub to run training workshops and help British developers grow their companies" in the area.

Google might not need the funding put on the table by Cameron, but a name that big with a base in the heart of London would raise the profile of the area as well as boost jobs in a time of economic difficulty.

Eric Schmidt has been CEO of Google since 2001 but announced last weekend he would be stepping aside for co-founder Larry Page to take over the role.

He will remain as executive chairman, however, for arguably the world's biggest internet company.

"We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles we'll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company," Schmidt said on 20 January.

"In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."

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Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.