Tech is now everywhere - and fundamental to London's growth

 
Russ Shaw
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Tech has infiltrated all aspects of business in the capital (Source: Getty)

The third London Technology Week will formally start today in Shoreditch with entrepreneurs, academics and government leaders coming together to celebrate technology – the city’s fastest growing industry.

A lot has changed since the inaugural launch in 2014.

London now has a global reputation for producing world-class tech companies, with more unicorns than any other European country.

More than 300,000 people are employed by the sector in the capital and billions of dollars are invested into our digital scaleups. The questions around whether London can compete on the global tech stage have been answered.

Read more: London continues reign as unicorn startup capital of Europe

But this success story is not just one of business revenue and economic growth.

Today’s research from London and Partners to mark the opening day of London Technology Week examines the extent to which digital innovation will reshape the city in terms of how we work, live and interact. Driverless cars and robots in the workplace may not be as far away as we think.

Whilst nobody can deny these science fiction developments will be hugely exciting, the more important point is how embedded technology has already become into the fabric of the city.

These innovations are already happening now, with tech entrepreneurs deploying world-class digital skills to reimagine transport, housing and retail.

Now is the time to future-proof the city for its digital future. And in Sadiq Khan, we have a Mayor of London committed to puttting technology at the heart of urban development.

My hope is that London Technology Week acts not only as a showcase for the capital’s digital excellence, but a chance to break down the remaining barriers between tech startups and scaleups and the wider city.

Read more: The six ways tech will change our lives in the next 20 years

Digital is no longer a niche industry in East London, but a fundamental proponent of the city’s economic growth. The opportunities within the businesses driving this success should be open to everyone and harnessing home-grown young talent and greater diversity will guarantee London’s long-term status as a global tech hub.

London Technology Week has a theme this year of convergence – highlighting disruption across almost every industry operating in the city. But let’s take it one step further, and demonstrate the convergence of technology innovation around the lives of every Londoner, every business and every City Hall policy.

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