Aviva: Europe’s four top-tier tech cities attract talent and foster business creation

The four Europe’s top-tier tech cities identified by Aviva’s ‘Future City’ methodology are Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Copenhagen, each renowned clusters in digital and biotech fields. The Future City model created by Aviva Investors uses 30 metrics to assess the credentials of each city; including the ability to attract global talent, cultivate clusters of high value-add economic activities, scale and underlying real estate fundamentals.

Chris Urwin, Director of Research, Real Assets, at Aviva Investors, explains the attraction of each of these cities:


“Berlin is another city driving innovation. The city is home to 38,000 digital and creative companies and it is estimated that a start-up is founded every 20 minutes there. Over 100,000 professional developers now live in the city, with Berlin’s hipness and tolerance helping to attract talent. Its low cost of living, with rental accommodation one of the most affordable in western Europe, is a further boon. This city is one of Europe’s most important biotech hubs – around 20 pharmaceutical companies with 10,000 employees and 230 biotech firms with 5,300 employees are located there.”


“Amsterdam is a thriving tech hub, home to an open and creative tech scene and numerous innovative companies, including those in the biotech field. Some of the world’s ingenious companies, such as Uber, Netflix, and Tesla have chosen Amsterdam as the location for their European headquarters. Attracted by the depth of talent in the English-speaking workforce, such companies will be hoping to recruit some of the 215,000 software developers working there.”


“Stockholm has a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative cities. It is described as Europe’s “unicorn factory” as it is home to more US$1 billion-plus companies per capita than anywhere outside of Silicon Valley, including globally recognised names like Skype and Spotify. Indeed, a higher proportion of people work in tech-related jobs than any other European city. Supported by strong entrepreneurship culture and excellent sustainability and liveability credentials, Stockholm is recognised as a city that attracts global talent.”


“Copenhagen is a bustling startup city home to hundreds of tech companies and includes global success stories such as Zendesk, Unity, Trustpilot, Siteimprove, and LogPoint. Online takeaway giant Just Eat has its roots in a Danish basement. The city is the most research-intensive area in Northern Europe with 11 universities, 15 science parks, 14,000 researchers and 150,000 students. The compact nature of the city helps make Copenhagen Europe’s most cycle-friendly city – over 40 percent of people cycle to work. Despite a higher cost of living, it has a high standard of living and attracts global talent.”

[email protected]