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 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 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. Advanced consumer markets and a multicultural workforce
The UK provides tech companies with a market of an estimated 48m people, with an estimated 26m broadband connections, and 12.8m superfast broadband connections. This provides a laboratory 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. The UK's technology sector attracts more tech investment than any other European market, with an estimated £6.7bn invested in tech firms in 2016. For early stage projects, funding is also available from bodies such as The Technology Strategy Board, NESTA, and the EPSRC.
The UK has seen major recent investments from tech groups including Google, Facebook and Snap Inc.
5. Creative Convergence
The UK has the conditions to support a culture of cross-pollination across creative sectors. According to an Ofcom report, an estimated £11.6bn was spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2017, with £5.2bn invested in mobile advertising. The UK is also a leading market for TV streaming services, video games and social media. These attributes mean the market is well placed to take advantage of convergence across creative genres and platforms. UK creative clusters of different sub-sectors can be found in cities such as London, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester.