Bulldog unbowed: UK climbs KPMG tech innovation rankings

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read

KPMG says the core attributes that have made the UK tech sector so attractive remain in place

The UK has defied uncertainty surrounding Brexit by leaping from seventh to fourth place in a list ranking the most promising markets for technology breakthroughs.

The rankings, compiled by KPMG, asked 841 business executives at tech companies, venture capital firms and angel investors that focus on technology which country they felt shows the most promise for disruptive technology breakthroughs.

The UK placed fourth with a 10 per cent share of the vote, behind only the US (26 per cent), China (25 per cent) and India (11 per cent).

London also ranked at number five in the list of rising technology hubs respondents felt could challenge Silicon Valley, behind Shanghai, New York, Tokyo and Beijing.

Although the majority of UK techies felt Brexit would be bad for their industry - with high-profile vendors like Microsoft vocal in their backing of the Remain campaign - the tech sector here has proved its resilience by continuing to perform well and suck in investment, KPMG said in its commentary.

This confidence has been further bolstered by Google and Facebook's decision to hire more UK staff, Apple's decision to move to a new London HQ, and IBM's plans to open four UK datacentres, KPMG said.

It also praised the UK government for making tech a key priority of its new Industrial Strategy, singling out its £2bn R&D fund for emerging technology such as AI and robotics.

"Despite Brexit, the core attributes that have made the UK tech sector so strong and attractive remain in place, including an amazing talent base that has a long track record of creativity; great infrastructure and facilities; first class universities; a stable legal system; appropriate fiscal incentives; time zone advantages; and an ecosystem of advisers that support the needs of tech companies," KPMG stated.

Respondents were also asked which company they felt is the leader in driving technology innovation, with Google topping the pile on 20 per cent of the vote.

Apple finished second on 15 per cent, down on the 18 per cent share it garnered last year, with Microsoft (12 per cent) and IBM (seven per cent) completing the top four, ahead of Amazon, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Alibaba.

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