Creating the Technology Profile & Innovation Index for Greater Manchester.

Today, The Data City starts its work with Greater Manchester Combined Authority GMCA & MIDAS. Paul Connell, co-founder of Data City, explains how we are applying our technology to help organisations understand the economic structures of the technology sector and map innovation across Greater Manchester.The project will run until spring 2019 and has two main objectives.

  1. To understand the technology & emerging technology sector. This will support the development of one of the country’s first Industrial Strategies by GMCA.
  2. To provide intelligence to support & measure Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment activities led by MIDAS.


We got Paul to ask Tim Newns CEO of MIDAS and Alan Harding Economic Adviser to GMCA why this project was important.

Paul Connell: Why have you commissioned this project?

Tim Newns: We need to have a real world and real time view of Greater Manchester’s’ strengths and the economic situation that the city region faces.

The Data City approach will help us to create a step change in how we understand the growth in technology businesses that are indigenous to GM and what are the right complimentary businesses that we need to attract.

Alan Harding: GMCA is working to produce one of the countries first Industrial Strategies which is in response to The Government’s investment of £4.7Bn in R&D over the next 4 years.  We need new ways to collect and use data about the economy, so we can produce compelling analysis and strategy for Greater Manchester. The advent of the web of data and new data science techniques allows us to have more accurate and timely data that does not rely on the old, often out of date and costly approaches of the past such as SIC Codes for classification of business and analysis by consultants commissioned on one-off projects.

Data City Software Service

The Data City software service, which uses open data, the web and machine learning, will be applied by Data City working with teams across Greater Manchester to create real time insight on how the economy is developing. The data we use is a combination of all data about organisations that is held at GOV.UK (Companies, Third sector, Public Institutions), data relating to innovation activity i.e. Academic publishing, events and meet-Ups, funding & grant making, and data from the web.

Radically Open

DataCity will be publishing the outputs of our work as a website for anyone to access and interrogate. The data we create will be published under an open licence at DataMillNorth for anyone to use, re-use and share.

We will continue to post our progress at this webpage over the next six months, so watch this space as we develop the outputs.

If you have any questions or queries please send them to us at or register for updates on our mailing list.

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