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UK tech sector still attractive despite uncertainty presented by Brexit

The UK has been ranked the fourth most promising market for technology breakthroughs that have a global impact, trailing slightly behind the US, China and India, according to KPMG’s 2017 global technology innovation report.

Despite the uncertainty presented by Brexit, the UK jumped significantly from seventh last year in the global rankings. According to the report, the UK is seen by the global business executive respondents as progressing with innovative tech hubs, showing progress in the development of products and services that can break through in developed and emerging markets.

Tudor Aw, head of technology sector at KPMG UK said: “The research shows the UK’s technology sector drew more investment than that of any other European country in 2016 and that London is seen as a major hub for big data, fintech and a variety of digital technologies. Despite the uncertainty presented by Brexit and other economic factors, the UK and London has not lost its shine when it comes to its technology pedigree.”

In a survey of 841 business executives globally from tech companies, venture capital firms, and angel investors that focus on technology, respondents were asked which cities will emerge to rival Silicon Valley/San Francisco over the next four years. The survey revealed numerous rising technology hubs, including London at number five:

  1. Shanghai
  2. New York
  3. Tokyo
  4. Beijing
  5. London
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Berlin
  8. Chicago
  9. Tel Aviv
  10. Boston

“Technology underpins the competiveness and development of almost every sector. It is a key battleground for most economies and the UK must ensure it is a leader in this field. The Government’s £2 billion R&D fund for emerging tech, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, is therefore hugely encouraging and will make a real difference to the UK being seen as a tech destination of choice for scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and tech companies,” said Aw.

The survey also asked to name the top global technology innovation visionaries. Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, topped the list, with Apple CEO, Tim Cook, in second, followed by Alibaba Chairman, Jack Ma, Alphabet CEO, Larry Page and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai who tied for third. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, stood alone in the sixth, with Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tied in seventh, followed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in ninth.

KPMG 2017 Global Technology Innovation report

The report captures the findings of a September - November 2016 survey of 841 business executives globally from companies, venture capital firms, and angel investors that focus technology.

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 13,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.07 billion in the year ended 30 September 2016. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.