Reasons to choose the UK tech sector
1. A culture of innovation and creativity
The UK has a history of generating new thinking and technical breakthroughs. These have included many of the early stages of computer science, and the first MP3 player, first portable computer, first handheld television set and the first 3D computer game. (See longer list in the UK Firsts section of www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk). In the burgeoning mobile content market, the UK is now the leading centre for app development in europe.
An important contributing factor in these successes has been the UK’s open, competitive environment in which innovators are able to develop ideas and collaborate, and find funders and partnering organisations. It also offers excellent educational institutions. The UK is ranked third worldwide for the quality of its scientific research institutions and second for the quality of university-industry collaboration (Source: 2013 Global Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum).
This video from the Technology Transfer Network of the Technology Strategy Board celebrates examples of creative organisations that have exploited technology to innovate within their sectors.
2. A flexible intellectual property and business system
The UK has a well-established, transparent framework for protecting technology innovations and a stable business and political environment. Overall, the UK is ranked as the most attractive location in Europe for research and development (source: Department of Business, Innovation and Skills report) and fifth globally for innovation (source: Global Innovation Index.)
3. Access to an advanced consumer market and a multicultural workforce
The UK provides tech companies with a large, digitally advanced consumer and business market in which to test and launch new products. With high levels of broadband penetration and widespread adoption of digital behaviour in consumption and e-commerce, the UK is "digitally-ready" (see Bain/Enders Analysis report).
The UK was seventh - ahead of the US - in the 2013 global Networked Readiness Index (see rankings created by INSEAD and World Economic Forum.) The UK’s multicultural population, social liberalism and quality of life also make it an attractive prospect for global technology companies to re-locate and hire staff (see KPMG article on the UK).
4. Proximity to finance
The UK capital markets, and its private equity sectors, are looking to invest in growth technology companies. For early stage projects, funding is also available from bodies such as The Technology Strategy Board, NESTA, and the EPSRC.
5. Creative Convergence
The UK has a good penetration of digital technologies, such as broadband and mobile, rich content traditions and a culture of cross-pollination across creative sectors. The Government's rollout of superfast broadband has reached more than 1 million homes and businesses across the UK (as of August 2014). The £1.7 billion nationwide rollout is firmly on track to extend superfast broadband to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017.
The UK-wide rollout is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing access to superfast broadband in areas the private sector would not otherwise have reached. Additionally, the UK has the biggest mobile content market in Europe, highest mobile advertising spend per head (Source: Ofcom), with the app sector expected to exceed £500m in 2013 (Source: research2guidance). These attributes mean the market is well placed to take advantage of convergence across creative genres and platforms. It is also home to creative clusters of different sub-sectors in cities such as London, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester.