Image: Home Office
“Through close co-operation between government and our tech industry we will help to ensure that Britain remains one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a tech business. We will expand the scope of our digital tech industries, funding Artificial Intelligence, robotics, 5G, smart energy and more. We will broaden their reach across the UK, create new Institutes of Technology, and reinvigorate STEM and digital education to equip young people for the workplaces of the future,” she said.And here are the highlights.
- In 2016, venture capital and private equity digital tech investment was 50 per cent greater than in any other European country – coming in at £6.8 billion. To put that in context, number two in Europe is France, which secured £2.4 billion.
- The UK is home to eight of Europe’s top 20 universities.
- In 2016, London hosted almost three times as many meetups as any other European City – 22,000, Berlin was second with 7,963.
- Digital tech turnover reached £97 billion in 2016 – up ten per cent in five years.
- But this was not just a London story – 68 per cent of tech investment went regional, with clusters outside of the capital growing fast.
- An average digital tech worker is more than twice as productive as the average worker.
Digital tech is a good area to work in too, with the rate of job growth in the sector twice the national average.
It may seem like an obvious point, but it is so important it needs making anyway, digital tech is the future.
To compete in the future, the UK needs more digital tech – there is no point in trying to return to old style idustries as some seem to want. Remaining competitive is about responding to change.
But there are dangers.
For one thing, the backlash against immigration, threatens to ruin this chance – take universities as an example, one of the UK’s key unique selling points. They need to be more welcoming to overseas students, not less.
Eileen Burbridge, Chair Tech City UK and Gerard Grech, CEO Tech City UK, together wrote a second forward saying: "It is critical that we future proof what we have achieved so far. The recently announced digital strategy from the UK government is already setting us on the right path. Tech is at a critical juncture and as we head into the future we must reassure founders, investors, international talent, and our home-grown digital work-force that the UK is and will remain the best place to start and scale world-class digital businesses.”
Digital tech is the unsung success story of the UK economy. This needs to change. We need to shout it out loud and celebrate this success, because in fighting for this cause, the first step is to tell people how important it is.