the cluster

The Cambridge Cluster is a free-to-access big data tool monitoring the growth of the region over time

The Cambridge Cluster brings together research excellence, deep and varied skills, flexible working space, investment and support services, all integrated through a connected eco-system. Continuous innovation in each of these areas continues to offer new benefits, enabled by a supportive culture of open innovation. Explore the dynamic infographic below to learn what makes Cambridge the right place to grow a successful business.

Discover Cambridge's innovative & economic model

The Cambridge Cluster originated from an earlier platform launched in July 2016 and is a dataset of information on over 25,000 businesses in the Cambridge region. The map enables the data to be shown in geographic, sectoral, chart and other formats. The data for individual companies includes postcode, industry sector, global turnover, global employment and directors.

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knowledge intensive firms with £18bn turnover

The purpose of the Cambridge Cluster

is to provide an accurate and accessible source of growth data that:

  • Shows the growth of the region over time and reveals the true extent of the success of the ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’.
  • Supports representations made to Government for increased investment.
  • Enables the city to highlight the attractiveness of Cambridge to potential international inward investors.
  • Allows businesses and individuals to examine individual company data as well as identify where growth is taking place around them.


in total turnover of knowledge intensive firms

It specifically monitors the growth of Cambridge-based companies, in terms of their global turnover and global employment, and tracks the number of Cambridge-active companies, as well as public and charitable sector research organisations.

Cambridge-based companies are those with their primary trading address within this area, or those that do not give a primary trading address but have a registered office in this area.


people employed by knowledge intensive firms

Cambridge-active companies are those who have neither their registered office, nor primary trading address in the Cambridge area but do have a trading address in the area, examples being Amazon and Apple. Non-corporate Knowledge-Intensive (KI) organisations are those research institutions that are located in the defined region which are neither companies, nor partnerships. Examples of these are the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Babraham Institute.

The database behind the map, which is managed by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Business Research on behalf of Cambridge Ahead, has also been extended to cover the whole Business Board area (formerly Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership), providing eight years of data for more than 70,000 companies. These data are being used to inform the Local Industrial Strategy after the ground-breaking Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER).

The Cambridge Cluster is refreshed approximately twice a year and will be updated with wholly new data annually.

The last update was published in April 2019 and includes data for 2017/18. These data show that, in the year to April 2018, Cambridge-based companies within the Cambridge Ahead area (i.e. within a 20-mile radius of the city of Cambridge) grew their global turnover by 8.7% and their global employment by 4.1%. Cambridge based companies generate total revenues of £46.6bn and employ 233,000 employees worldwide.

Employment in the region has been growing at rates that are faster than official statistics suggest and in line with the growth scenarios used in the CPIER.

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Cambridge Ahead

Cambridge Ahead represents some of the most influential organisations in the Cambridge region. It supports local and central government on decisions relating to economic growth and infrastructure investment. We bring soundly based research to all considerations to help shape a sustainable future for the Cambridge region.

Cambridge Ahead