By Claire West
Google, Facebook, Cisco, Intel and British Telecom heading for London’s East End
The UK is set to become a leading technology hub for innovative global businesses with a new and unique scheme by UK Trade and Investment.
With at least £15m at its disposal the global Technology Taskforce will recruit the very best technology companies and talent to Britain and help entrepreneurial and innovative start-ups in the UK to internationalise.
The new programme was unveiled by the Prime Minister at a visit to Shoreditch and the Olympic Park media centre. The UKTI taskforce will have a global network and a presence in East London to maximise the opportunities before and after the Olympic Games.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “We are firmly on the side of the high-growth, highly innovative companies of the future.
“Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for high-tech growth and innovation. But there’s no reason why it has to be so predominant. Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world’s great technology centres.”
The taskforce will include a dedicated New Technology Investment and Entrepreneurship team to work with entrepreneurs, industry experts, scientists, providers of capital and key parts of government to bring the best international new technology investment to the UK.
The new task force and investment team will have a presence around the world, with a particular focus on the US west coast.
Sir Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “The UK has a huge opportunity in new technologies. The new task force has an explicit role to help sell the benefits of east London to investors as well as help companies internationalise from the area.
“The Shoreditch area is a lively hub of entrepreneurs who feed off each others ideas and inspiration. I am confident, with the right help, they will be able to grow and win business abroad.”
The task force-assisted companies in east London will have access to two dedicated international trade advisers with expert knowledge of the ICT sector.
The UK’s ICT sector is one of the liveliest in the world and employs more than a million people and contributes more than £66.4bn to the UK economy.
The new task force will also offer networking and meet-the-buyer events to firms as well as master classes on business topics such as market access and intellectual property.