The UK tech industry is seen as lagging way behind its peers, with just one per cent of technology leaders citing this country as a potential innovation hotspot in the coming years.
In a KPMG survey of 811 technology business leaders from across the globe, 37 per cent of respondents cited the US as the likely source of the next big disruptive technology breakthrough. Last year's survey had the US and China tied for first place, but this year the Asian country is 13 points behind on 24 per cent.
One in 10 technology chiefs expect the next wave of innovation to come from India, with Korea (seven per cent) and Japan and Israel (both six per cent) next on the list. Having been singled out by just one per cent of respondents, the UK was tied ninth with Russia.
The two key factors cited as necessary for driving tech innovation were availability of talent and access to funding. UK technology leaders seem comparatively dissatisfied with their access to key resources. Only 44 per cent believe there is an adequate pool of talent, while just 41 per cent feel that this country's technology infrastructure is accessible enough. One in three feels they have enough access to funding.
Tudor Aw, KPMG's European head of technology, claimed that global respondents have "underestimated the tremendous talent, creativity and favourable conditions we have in place".
"We need to do a better job of promoting ‘Tech UK' as a brand overseas so people understand all the strengths we have, as well as our existing world-leading capability," he added. "Good examples of this include graphene, which is seen as a technology that will revolutionise the 21st century; two physicists from Manchester University won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in this field. Another example is our world-leading companies in the field of semiconductor IP used in smartphones."
Despite the UK's seemingly poor perception across the globe, UK firms report being more optimistic than those in many other countries. Some 16 per cent of tech companies in this country plan to add 100 staff or more in the next year, compared to 11 per cent in China and six per cent in the US.
But despite this, only 23 per cent believe the education system is playing a big enough role in helping to create technology innovation in this country.
"A real area of concern continues to be education that is relevant for the tech sector, something that is increasingly being raised and debated," said Aw. "We need to ensure that sufficient resources are placed on relevant education that will support hardcore technology innovation and development, not just how to utilise technology applications."
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