In recent year large data centres have been established in Europe.

Especially the Nordic countries with their cool climate, stable and green energy supply and highly skilled work forces have been successful in attracting large data centers from some of the leading players in the new data driven economy e.g. Apple, Facebook and Google.

But much more data centers will follow. The future of business and society is digital and data driven and requires massive data storage and processing capacity. Recent forecasts predict that more than 60 large scale data centers will have to be constructed in Europe before 2020. Furthermore a massive need for smaller and medium sized co-location data centers is expected to occur. Altogether these expected developments will create more than 350.000 new jobs across Europe.

Attracting data centers make out a promising potential for boosting local economy and job creation for regions and municipalities. However, the competition is fierce – and if first successful, exchanging a data center investment to local growth and jobs, requires an active and persistent approach from local authorities and other a broad range of stakeholders in regional development.

In Oxford Research we are among the leading experts when it comes to knowledge on data centers and regional development. We have been involved in several regional and local development projects, feasibility studies and strategic analyses on data centers wide across the Nordic countries.

We help governments, regional and local authorities and business development agencies in measuring and assessing:

  • What does it take to attract a data center? In Oxford Research we have deep knowledge on what factor conditions and localization factors that are decisive for attracting both large and small data centers. We are experienced in assessing the realistic potentials of specific regions and locations in attracting data centers.
  • What impact does a data center actually have on regional or local economy and development? We offer assessments and impact studies of the socio-economic impact of data centers on regions and communities. We have conducted case studies of the local impact of data centers in several locations in both Europe and the US of including impacts of both construction as well as operation phase.
  • What opportunities and challenges data centers bring to local communities? Our research shows, that data centers often brings many new opportunities but also many challenges to the region and local communities they are situated in. This can range from lack and drainage of skilled labour to poor communication resulting in mistrust and opposition from the local community. We can help you mapping challenges and assess needed actions to prepare for a coming data center to avoid the many pitfalls.
  • How can regions and municipality secure local growth and benefits?Large data centers represent huge investment and spending in both construction and operational phases. However, our experiences clearly show that leveraging a data center investment to really boost local economy requires a proactive, persistent and strategic approach. In Oxford Research, we are experts in assessing how regions, municipalities and communities can secure that data centers actually do contribute to local growth and we are ready to help you designing the needed strategies and action plans.

Our references include projects related to some of the largest data centers in Europe:

  • Apple’s data center in Viborg, Denmark,
  • Google’s data center in Hamina, Finland
  • Google’s data center in Mons, Belgium
  • Facebook’s data center in Luleå, Sweden.