UK woos foreign tech investors to boost post-Brexit digital economy

Lynsey Barber
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The government is ramping up its efforts to woo foreign tech investors and give the UK digital economy a fresh boost after Brexit.

The culture secretary Karen Bradley will this week visit Scandanavian tech hubs to meet with investors and companies, including Ericsson, which is working with UK researchers on tests of 5G technology.

"I’ll be in Finland and Sweden to showcase and promote the UK’s booming digital economy and outline how deeper collaboration with our world-leading companies can benefit both regions," said Bradley.

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She will also meet with experts at security agencies in Finland and Sweden which are working to tackle emerging online threats. Bradley will pay visits to Helsinki's Start-up Sauna and Stockholm's Sup46. And the Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Finland and the Civil Contingencies Agency in Sweden.

And digital minister Matt Hancock will head to Singapore with a group of cyber security startups from the UK .

He will also follow in the Prime Minister Theresa May's footsteps to Japan, where she secured commitment to replace existing trade deals it has with the country "instantly" when the UK leaves the European Union.

Hancock will meet with giants Sega and Sony to promote the UK's gaming industry, as well as expertise in fintech, artificial intelligence, robotics and 5G to encourage trade ties in the sector. Deep Secure, Digital Shadows, Immersive Labs and NNC Group are among the cyber security startup delegation visiting Singapore.

“The UK is a world leader in cyber security and our industry is thriving with exports worth nearly £1.5bn last year," said Hancock.

"I’m determined to help the next generation of firms grow as we build a truly global Britain and hope to make real progress by leading a delegation including some of the nation’s most innovative businesses.”

Read more: Techxit? UK is the exit capital of Europe for tech startups

The cash going towards the UK's tech startups is poised to reach an six year high, as is the number of deals, according to data from CB Insights, signalling a feared slowdown after the referendum has not materialised. Funding is set to reach $4.3bn by the end of the year, rising by almost half on the previous year.

“Britain has become an undisputed European hub for tech investment, with twice as much investment in tech as any other European country, and plans set out in our recent Digital Strategy will help make sure this continues," Bradley added.

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