UK Potential For World’s Digital Capital

Apr 17, 2014

The UK is fast becoming a “digital powerhouse” that could become digital capital of the world, according to the chairman of London’s Tech City.

Joanna Shields is both the chairman of London’s technology cluster and the UK ambassador for digital industries.

Shields recently wrote in a UK newspaper column that whole industries have been reimagined, the economy has grown and new jobs have all been created as a result of digital.

She claims that the past three years have seen “phenomenal growth” in tech and digital businesses in London, including the creation of 83,000 new jobs and a jump from 50,000 to 88,000 technology companies in existence.

This, Shields believes, means the UK is moving towards becoming the world’s leading digital capital, particularly because this expansion has moved beyond London.

“Digital clusters are thriving across the country. Bristol is leading the way in robotics and media tech is flourishing in Manchester,” the chair claimed.

“Edinburgh is succeeding in Artificial Intelligence, as is Newcastle in gaming and Cambridge continues to be a beacon for bioscience and hardware,” she added.

To further her argument, Shields cited that the UK’s Internet economy is worth £145bn – to put this in to context, she said this makes it a bigger industry than construction, education and utilities.

Work Must Be Done To Cement UK’s Position

However, the digital ambassador says there are things Britain must do if it is to cement itself as the digital capital.

“For Britain to succeed we need to ensure the continued growth and acceleration of the digital and tech expertise that exists all across the UK,” claimed Shields.

She also added that major cities in the country must become global leaders in their own right, growth-stage companies must be supported and incentives must be developed and adapted to help entrepreneurs.

The next generation must also remain inspired, claimed Shields.




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