No other nation has as many world-class small technology firms as the UK. We have set out to create the first National Database of these small companies (SMEs) – probably the first database of its kind in the world.

The Gibson Index, run by the prolific writer on innovation and enterprise, Marcus Gibson, has researched and fully profiled the first 70,000 tech-led SMEs, across 54 ‘hard’ technology sectors, across the country.

Our small but expert inhouse team of BBC-trained researchers are backed up by more than 60 specialist business and technology journalists, investment experts, academics and sector experts, who keep us posted on new SMEs that cross their radar.

No other agency monitors SMEs in such breadth or depth. We monitor all firms that receive UK and US Government research and development grants, including virtually all of the firms in the past decades of UKRI, Innovate UK, Tech Strategy Board, SBRI, and vital, earlier programmes such as Smart, Spur, TCS/KTP, LINK/OST research grant schemes. We monitor new firms arriving at some 930 Business Centres and top Science Parks in the UK, and we watch out for winners and finalists in around 250 business competitions nationwide. Our research shows that there could be as many as 77,000 tech-driven businesses in the UK.

We make every effort to meet small business owners, entrepreneurs, academic entrepreneurs, scientist innovators – in person. Our researchers travel around the UK, to the US and Germany, in search of new firms. We attend more than 350 business events each year, including University technology fairs, design shows, large trade sector fairs, enterprise exhibitions, ‘Meet The Buyer’ events, innovation seminars, company launches, technology fairs, and a host of government initiative launches. As result, no one else knows so many technology small firms personally and individually.

Best of all, the ongoing UK-wide company search strategy adds 450 new technology SMEs to the database – each month.. No one else does this...

Our 'Firsts':

The index has achieved a significant number of 'Firsts'..

  • It is the world’s first national database of early stage technology companies.
  • It is the first comprehensive survey of British technology companies, consultancies and business partnerships. 
  • It contains the most comprehensive list of British SME entrepreneurs and company officers, around 70,000 in all. 
  • It contains a complete list of the UK small firms which have received US defence agency research contracts.
  • It contains a unique list of Britain’s most successful and active scientist-inventors, a jewel in the crown of the UK economy.
  • It holds a unique national list of the UK’s most successful academic entrepreneurs, and contains the most comprehensive listing of UK University spinout companies and consultancies.
  • It contains the most comprehensive list of companies that have received UK Government research grants and economic development funding.


Research Services and Great Ideas..

In addition to maintaining the index, staff at Gibson Index Ltd have a long track record of undertaking specialist research on behalf of finance houses, investment companies, banks, professional service providers, and the economic development agencies of both the UK regions and other countries.

Many organisations and institutions are searching for new and innovative ideas that can transform their performance. Ideas are our special gift. These emerge from the sum of our extensive experience and unrivalled research resources. Recent projects include: ‘National Invention Strategy’, commissioned by the UK’s inventor-promotion organisation NESTA (, A second project was a study of Britain’s track record in academic commercialisation, and future methodology for fast tracking new research with economic potential. The report was produced for Universities UK, the body that represents all of the UK’s 110 Universities.

Please contact us for an informal, exploratory discussion.

Overall, nothing gives us more pleasure than the ability of putting a small company in touch with a partner company in another country, or in helping a young company find a major new market.

We welcome all comments from anyone interested in innovation, enterprise and small high-technology companies, and from economic development organisations around the world.

And of course from our licensees.


Database Contents:

The Index contains an extensive listing of companies, consultancies and business partnerships involved in technology-related activities.


A total of 54 main technology sectors have been researched. These are: IT hardware, software, engineering (all categories), materials (nanotech, plastics, polymers), environmental, instrumentation, sensors, imaging and optics, electronics and micro-electronics, telecoms, mobile services providers, biotech (pharma, informatics, diagnostics and devices), industrial processing and handling, industrial design, and finally, ‘consumer’ (to track early ‘middle-tech’ innovations from lone inventors/experienced lone engineers, who often move up the technology chain during their careers).


Significantly, the Index contains all of the companies, which have received British Government research grants, mostly through schemes run by the Department for Business/BEIS, the former DTI, and its agencies


The schemes – of past decades - include all companies that have received DTI Smart research and development grants, including all of the recipients of the past 10 years and many which go back to the launch of the scheme in 1988;


All SME participants in the DTI’s LINK/OST themed technology programmes,


All SMEs active in the 26 collaborative technology networks, known as Faraday Partnerships,


All SMEs with ‘Millennium Product’ status, a scheme that gave awards to more than 1,100 SMEs.


All SMEs with US Government research contracts,


All SME winners and entrants of UK Government’s Research Council Business Plan competitions,


Virtually all British University spinouts, totally 3,500+, the largest of its kind,


All SMEs in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise scheme (Innovation and Environment categories, principally) since it was founded more than 30 years ago,


All 300 UK SMEs involved in the pan-European technology collaboration programme named Eureka, since 1975,


All British SMEs active in the EU Commission’s FP5, FP6, and more recent 2020 Horizon Programmes.


Most of British technology companies that have exhibited at the key business, science and technology exhibitions in the UK and in Germany in the past 18 years.