Tech firms urge Government to prioritise product-led start-ups

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The UK Tech Cluster Group, which represents tech and digital business across the country is telling the Government to focus on grassroots start-ups in its new Digital Strategy.

Hundreds of stakeholders, policymakers, investors and entrepreneurs took part in a virtual meet-up to put together 7 recommendations for the Government, to “unlock the potential of the UK’s tech sector following the economic impact of Covid-19.”

“The UKTCG exists to connect, share and grow the communities it serves. Through understanding ecosystem needs at grassroots level, we have unrivalled, real time access to tech companies and communities,” explained David Dunn of Sunderland Software City, who's also UKTCG Chair.

“The Recovery Roadmap’s success in bringing together over 400 policy makers, from across the United Kingdom, to share best practice and learn how to practically support our communities, could and should be the start of a movement to uplift tech and digital communities across the country.

“The tech and digital industry’s importance to our economy goes unchallenged. We need to ensure people understand it, can access its knowledge and use it to drive their businesses, whether they’re startups or global giants.

“For us to succeed there is an understanding that the whole of the UK must be supported and help needs to be offered, and available wherever required, on the ground rather than directed centrally.”

Its 7 recommendations are:

  1. There should be a concerted effort to build programmes which will help to establish new product-led tech start-ups across the country. This, it believes will drive a new “flow of innovation” into existing scale-up programmes and give opportunities to those who’ve lost their work due to Covid-19.
  2. There needs to be a specialist programme to help public sector bodies to better utilise digital solutions. This would be to help the public sector become “more efficient and more reactive to needs, at the provision and procurement levels.”
  3. New schemes must consider the local nuances of the nations and regions to ensure successful engagement and impact across the UK.
  4. There needs to be greater emphasis on providing “test beds” to facilitate close-to-market digital innovation.
  5. New forms of collaboration between SMEs and corporates at a local level must be encouraged to drive regional and national R&D investment. This it says could include a specific R&D tax incentive.
  6. Technology buyers from traditional sectors need more support with their digital adoption and transformation journeys. This would help companies keep pace with start-ups and digital natives.
  7. Programmes to enable tech careers as an option for people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, regardless of their previous profession, skill level, or age.

“Each recommendation has a comprehensive plan behind it which we would be eager to develop further with key public policy makers for the good of our economy, our country and our local communities. The time is now to act on behalf of the grassroots,” concluded Dunn.

You can view the full The Recovery Roadmap Report here.