Technology firm's move will create 100 jobs
In a major coup for Exeter Science Park, fast-growing technology firm Blur Group has announced plans to move its global headquarters to the city, creating 100 jobs.
The decision comes after the company, whose services exchange platform is used by more than 30,000 businesses in 141 countries, established a base at the university's Innovation Centre this summer.
Its R&D centre was already due to relocate to the Science Park in November, occupying the ground floor of the new headquarters of developers Eagle One.
Now Blur Group, whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market, is moving its global HQ from London to Exeter Science Park.
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Meanwhile, Blur's offices in London and Dallas, Texas, will remain as regional commercial hubs. By the end of September there will be 35 employees in Exeter and around 35 in London.
Chief executive Philip Letts said: "Exeter has the right ingredients to become Europe's San Francisco and South Western UK the new Silicon Valley.
"The South West combines innovation and technology excellence, a great mix of universities with both academic and venture focus and an established reputation in attracting leading tech firms while providing great incubation and support for earlier stage business.
"It's a combination that has worked well for the US and has the potential to do the same in the UK."
Blur Group, one of the fastest growing AIM-listed tech companies, said its decision shows a commitment to a region with four of the country's top 20 universities and positions the company for further growth after its recent secondary fundraising.
A Blur spokeswoman said: "Exeter and the South West demonstrate a track record in innovation and entrepreneurship where start-ups have attracted more than $550m in investment and returned more than $800m to shareholders.
"The area shares many characteristics with the original Silicon Valley other than big names such as Google and HP and is in a prime position to become the UK's leading tech region."
As the founding hi-tech company at Exeter Science Park, Blur said it intends to help shape its future as a key, international, eco-friendly tech hub for the 21st century.