On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, the third annual report of Tech Nation was published. The report is the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s digital economy, concluded from over 2,700 survey responses, 220+ community partners and 61 founder case studies.

Naked Element was invited to attend the Tech Nation 2017 launch event at the Royal Institution in London, proudly representing the Norwich Tech Community, along with Neil Garner from Thyngs.

Neil was mentioned in the Tech Nation Norwich Cluster report for his innovative organisation “Thyngs”, enabling anyone to make everyday objects easily interactive through their smartphones. Paul was mentioned as founder of Naked Element and Norfolk Developers group for their annual conference, which included a “Schools day”, helping students to engage with the Norfolk Developers and to promote Digital Tech skills.

Most discussions at the event were based around the government and the sector working together, and what the strategy is for the future to continue the growth of the UK’s digital economy, as it’s clear that digital is a critical contribution in 2017.

So why is the government backing the Tech sector?

  • In the past 5 years we have seen a 22% increase in the Digital Tech industries turnover, currently at £170 billion
  • Tech investment in the UK is two and a half times more than any other European country
  • The average salary of those in the digital industry is £51k, being 44% higher than the national average. Tech workers are helping to boost the wider UK economy
  • through higher productivity levels per worker.
  • All businesses will be digital in the future, this means many businesses will be based on and run by Technology

 

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport (“The Ministers for Tech”) went on to discuss the strategy set in place to address the key areas of support our industry is expected to receive.

  • We continue to face a deficit of women in the Tech industry as the ratio of men to women is currently 3:1. This is a key issue and the government are keen to try and address this.
  • Making sure that we have home grown talent. New measures to ensure this include:
    • Adults who lack core digital skills will not have to pay for training
    • Coding is being introduced from Key Stage 1
  • Attracting the best and the brightest – this year we received x5 more applicants for Tech jobs in the UK. Although we are seeing growth, with a new Tech company starting up every 60 minutes, we must continue to attract this talent.
  • Having finance support at every stage of growth
  • Digital connectivity
  • Access to the space we need. Tech companies are growing at an alarming rate and ensuring we have enough space for them can be challenging
  • Undertaking reviews of tax in R&D to allow more money to be spent on it
  • Next generation full fibre – 1 million is being invested in 5G, having the connectivity they need whilst they’re travelling, at work and anywhere
  • Introducing a new forum in which Tech city are looking forward to playing an active role in. Karen Bradley, will potentially chair this forum to review strategies, set priorities and meet every quarter.

 

Digital is utility and no one should be left behind. With the backing that we have from government, we can hope to move forward as an industry, continuing to innovate and excel as a digital nation.

Lastly, I just want to say congratulations to the Norwich Tech community and to our contributions of £1.65 million to the report. We’ve got some of the most innovative digital companies and I really think this is just the start for us. Also congratulations to the whole of the Tech nation on another superb report. It’s a shining example that the government are committed to boosting this industry, and gives us great reason to be upbeat about the future. We have the momentum, and we have the innovation to ensure that the UK remains a global leader. As we approach a very exciting era, we need to draw on the best talent and ensure the world knows global Britain is open for business.

Words by Rain