The Government is supporting the technology sector through its Digital and Industrial Strategies, almost £1 billion of investment in artificial intelligence, competitive tax relief, a commitment to spend 2.4 per cent of GDP on research and development, as well skills and business mentoring initiatives such as Tech Nation.
Companies highlighting the UK’s expertise in technology include cyber security firm Darktrace, which has recently been valued at more than $1bn, making it a tech unicorn, and Improbable, which last year closed a $502m investment round, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Dundee-based 4J Studios, best known for its work on global video game hit Minecraft, has a global reach and, as part of the city’s £200 million tech sector, is turning over more than £11 million a year.
The recent Tech Nation 2018 report also highlighted smaller firms such as Exeter’s Milkalyser which has raised more than £1 million investment and created an automated system to measure hormones in milk during milking. It has a strong international presence and an Italian distributor.
BJSS, based in Leeds, is an award-winning IT and digital consultancy working with some of the world’s largest public and private sector organisations to design, deliver and support large-scale digital transformation. Its Enterprise Agile project has been exported to the US.
The statistics also show strong international growth in the creative industries, which includes publishing, advertising, marketing as well as film, TV, radio and photography.
Exports of services in the creative industries by UK firms grew more than 27% between 2015 and 2016 and they are worth more than £27 billion.
Overall, DCMS sectors continue to outperform the rest of the economy, says the DCMS.
Total year-on-year growth in exports of services in all DCMS sectors outstripped the growth of the UK as a whole by more than double – up 21.4 per cent versus 8.8 per cent.