New data and funding have underlined CreaTech’s status as a UK hotspot for growth in investment and employment ahead of a major international platform for this emerging category.
Figures released to coincide with the UK House: The Commonwealth Business Hub event on August 3rd estimate investment in UK CreaTech is on track this year to exceed the record $1.2bn attracted in 2021.
The value of the UK CreaTech ecosystem has increased by 161% since 2017, according to Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech companies that has traced the rapid expansion of the CreaTech category developing at the interface of creativity and technology.
UK CreaTech businesses innovating in areas such as artificial intelligence, software as a service (SaaS), mobile and virtual and augmented realities, were cumulatively valued at $95.3bn in 2021, Tech Nation calculates.
UK CreaTech employment has also risen by nearly 200% in five years to reach 95,000 in 2022. Download and share the Tech Nation slides.
In a further sign of confidence in CreaTech, Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, has announced a new £30m programme to support the UK’s most innovative creative industries businesses. The first funding call in this programme is due to open later this year.
Esra Kasapoglu, Director, AI and Data Economy, Innovate UK, said: “Creative industries is a priority sector for Innovate UK and our Creative Catalyst will continue to support the most innovative businesses in the sector. It follows a successful pilot last year, where we supported over 130 fantastic CreaTech businesses, from music to fashion and games to theatre. £30m of government investment is available into the Creative Industries sector for businesses to realise the potential of their creativity by innovation and technology across a wide number of applications. Innovate UK will be publishing more information about the Creative Catalyst over the Autumn/Winter.”
Damian Collins, Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, said: “The UK continues to shine as a global leader in tech and is making great strides as a hotspot for people using their creative skills to seize the power of new technologies. I welcome this investment and initiative which will fuel opportunities for innovation, expansion, and employment across UK digital businesses."
Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA and Industry Lead CIC CreaTech said: “As emerging technologies converge to shape the metaverse of the future, creative technology companies from all around the UK have the opportunity to provide innovative digital solutions for brands and businesses across the sector and the wider economy in both goods and services. With the support of Government and Industry we expect sustainable double digit growth, ahead of the economy as a whole, in this dynamic area.”
A full-day programme will present the business case for CreaTech to international business partners and investors and UK exporters as part of the creative and digital technologies strand hosted both in Birmingham and online by the UK House platform on 3 August.
Organisations participating include the Department for International Trade (DIT), Meraki VR Studio, Magnopus, VCCP, Nihilent and Hypercollective, FX Digital, and companies listed on CreaTech ‘Ones to Watch’ list of 100 breakthrough businesses. There will be a specific focus on opportunities to work with growth companies in the West Midlands, the UK’s fastest growing tech region.
Against the background of talks on a UK-India trade agreement sessions will highlight opportunities for increased international business partnerships and investment between the UK and other markets.
A Free Trade Agreement between the UK and India could bring huge benefits for both countries. The Indian government aims to have a trillion-dollar online economy by 2025 and increase internet access to more than 600 million people, meaning a trade deal could boost the UK firms selling products online and the UK’s world-leading digital and creative industries.
For full details of all sessions, visit www.ukhouse2022.co.uk
Hosted by DIT, in partnership with the region’s official economic development agency, the West Midlands Growth Company, UK House is part of the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), the first programme of its kind aligned to the Commonwealth Games. BATP is sponsored by E.ON, Airbnb, Reckitt, University of Birmingham, Bruntwood and Gowling WLG.