The 2018 Tech Nation report shows the UK’s tech industry is growing 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK’s economy. The tech industry accounted for £170 billion in 2016 and rose to £184 billion in 2017. In the jobs market, it was digital tech jobs that rose at 5 times the rate of other sectors.
Second only to Silicon Valley in the US, London is the next most connected city in the world and is home to many of the world’s largest and fastest growing high-tech companies.
London, in terms of proportion to overseas customers, even surpasses Silicon Valley. The capital boasts 61% 4G coverage with over 700 people per public Wi-Fi hotspot. However, London is yet to adopt 5G connections and it was reported that the technology firm Ovuum will concentrate on other countries as it rolls out its 5G coverage before it tackles the UK.
London is by no means the only city in the UK driving the growth of the tech industry.
One of the most productive and competitive tech clusters in the UK is in Bristol. Bristol has a long history of engineering excellence, with these roots evolving into other industries like microelectronics engineering and aerospace making it an exciting and collaborative city and one where many tech startups have taken off. Bristol University has long been recognised as a place of excellence and is a major player in its offerings of technology courses and related facilities.
With Brexit uncertainties continuing to cloud the future of the UK economy, experts believe that any hope for significant growth for the country should now lie in its thriving tech sector.
The Chancellor, |Philip Hammond recently announced that £51million in government funds will go to the research and development of innovative technologies in Wales. This bold move coincides with the UK’s Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost the productivity and earning power of UK residents through tech.
It helps that other countries in the UK are also investing in tech. The UK’s tech sector is on track to having a positive impact on the overall economy, considering that it attracts businesses and consumers from around the globe. For instance, several international tech firms and venture capitalists have invested around a billion pounds into the UK’s artificial intelligence industry. This will be used to address the country’s current skills shortage situation by funding AI specialists and data science teachers.
If the UK’s tech economy continues to expand at such a high rate, it could potentially bring growth to the traditional economy too.