Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK CEO
Microsoft’s UK boss Cindy Rose will help lead a government study investigating the competitiveness of the UK tech sector.
The study will be undertaken to cement the UK’s position as one of the top countries in the world to start and build a digital business.
Rose (pictured) took part in a roundtable with prime minister Theresa May at the launch of this year’s London Tech Week, which also included execs from Google, Amazon, Alibaba and VMware.
“The UK has a long and successful history of creating and embracing new technology and is ideally placed to capitalise on the AI opportunity for economic growth and societal impact,” Rose said.
“We have many of the elements we need to succeed: a thriving start-up scene, a vibrant investment community, cloud-first government policy, a great pool of UK and global talent and an enduring spirit of innovation.
“But for the UK to be a world leader in the fourth industrial revolution, we will need to recognise and address a number of significant domestic and global challenges and lay the foundations for continued technology innovation in decades to come.
“That’s why this Review of UK Digital Competitiveness is so timely and critical to our future prosperity.”
The UK is a leader in creating new tech to catalyse growth. To lead globally, the PM @Theresa_May is right, we must lay foundations for further innovation. I’m delighted to take part in the Review of UK Digital Competitiveness, so timely & critical to our future.
— Cindy Rose (@CindyRose) June 10, 2019
Over a third of the fastest-growing technology companies in Europe are now located in the UK after $35bn (£27.5bn) was invested in the sector between 2013 and 2018.
Figures compiled by analysts Dealroom and Tech Nation on behalf of the government’s Digital Economy Council revealed that the UK has created 13 new unicorns – companies that have reached valuations of over $1bn – which now takes the total number of billion-dollar firms in the UK to 72.
Speaking at London Tech Week, the prime minister welcomed this news but warned that there was still much to do to cement the UK’s position as a global tech leader.
“Already we are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business,” said May.
“British tech is growing over one and a half times faster than the rest of the economy, adding more than one hundred and thirty billion pounds to our economy every year.
“But if we are going to maintain our position as a global leader, our challenge is how we develop British tech and make it even better.
“We want this to be the place everyone thinks of – and comes to – first when they want to develop their world-changing tech ideas. This is a challenge shared between industry and government.
“Today as we sit on the cusp of the next great industrial revolution, we have the opportunity to work together and ensure that the advances we see transform our world for the better, and for the benefit of everyone. Government will back you all the way.”
I was delighted to be at @HereEast to launch London Tech Week. Few events have the energy and excitement of the week ahead – and few tell us so much about the power of technology to transform the world we live in. #LTW pic.twitter.com/4tlw0keO9G
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) June 10, 2019
The prime minister announced that tech companies across the globe have backed the UK with investment of over £1.2bn, including £153m from government and £205m from industry to develop quantum computing and accelerate the creation of new drugs.
She also announced that starting next year, 2,500 places will be available for AI and data conversion courses – 1,000 of which will be government-funded scholarships – in order to ensure that people and businesses in the tech sector have the skills they need.
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