Securing investment in the Great British Tech-off

Tech Investment

From the steam locomotive to the internet, Britain has long been at the forefront of technological innovation. At London Tech Week 2018, it was announced that this world-class reputation will be bolstered by £2.3bn in UK investments and a further 1,600 jobs, future-proofing the industry’s prosperity and giving a welcome boost to the wider economy.

Leading the way in European tech investment, Britain almost doubled its 2016 funding last year to $7.8bn, dwarfing a combined $6bn total achieved by Germany and France. The sector now employs around 2.1 million workers and creates a new job every 50 minutes, a pace which is set to accelerate with recent UK ventures by Big Commerce, BT and Amazon.

To sustain this momentum and secure continued growth throughout the Brexit process, the government’s Modern Industrial Strategy is focusing great efforts on the sector’s home and international expansion. This includes launching a £2.5bn business growth and internationalisation programme, as well as several state-funded initiatives designed to attract international talent and support UK start-ups.

As a UK-based tech company that has evolved from an investment-backed start-up into a thriving global enterprise, SmartKem offers a run-down of the government’s latest plans to showcase Britain’s technological powerhouse on the world’s stage.

Private Investment

This year’s London Tech Week saw private investment secured from three major global players, ameliorating concerns about the ‘Brexit effect’ on UK business:

  • Mubadala, the UAE sovereign wealth fund, will introduce a £300m tech fund to back European innovation. Based in the Britain, the venture is expected to create a host of jobs while contributing to the country’s commercial growth potential.
  • The US CRM platform giant, Salesforce, will contribute a further £1.9bn over the next five years, with plans to open a second British data centre next year.
  • Japanese system integration company, NTT Data, will also invest £41m and create around 200 new jobs across a new innovation centre and office.

Additionally, the government plans to advance business networks and capabilities in South Africa and Brazil markets with the launch of two tech hubs.

Visa Scheme

The government will also enhance global partnerships with a new Start-up Visa scheme, designed to draw oversees talent and business to the UK. Launching in spring 2019, the move will grant wider access to visas for stand-out entrepreneurs.

British Patient Capital Programme

Providing greater access to data, talent and government funding, a £2.5bn British Patient Capital programme is set to assist the expansion plans of high-growth potential companies and draw £5bn in private investment.

SmartKem is a forging its own high-tech Silk Route by collaborating with some of the largest display makers in Asia. Showcasing the UK’s tech capabilities around the globe is vital to our economy and we are proud to be playing our part in driving the industry forward.