Besides Twitter debuting its IPO and Google clearing up the mystery around their floating barges, the big news sending shockwaves around the tech world was of course the relaunch of the UK’s tech industry body.
Formerly known as Intellect, techUK started over 11 years ago and now has more than 850 companies as members. Launched by Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable, techUK members collectively employ more than 500,000 people – or roughly 1/3rd of all tech sector jobs in the UK!
The relaunch also comes with an ambitious new mission: to create more than 1/2 million jobs in the UK IT sector by encouraging a greater focus on exports, improvements in IT security capabilities, and the perennial problem of skills shortages and the lack of women in IT.
The organisation announced a series of new initiatives to help promote and develop the UK tech sector:
- A partnership with UK Trade and Investment to help 1,000 UK technology companies to export their goods and services for the first time.
- Setting up the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, to bring together 70 interested parties to make better use of radio spectrum.
- Leading a new initiative on cyber crime, designed to learn the lessons from other safety critical industries on how to improve security in the products the sector provides.
- Working with Code Club to set up software coding clubs in 25% of primary schools by 2015 teaching children the basics of coding and helping to address long-term concerns over skills shortages.
The SME focus will be led by Postcode Anywhere’s CEO, Guy Mucklow.
Guy said: “SMEs are a valuable source for innovation throughout the country and play a pivotal role in helping the UK tech industry thrive, which in turns boosts the national economy. techUK’s commitment to SMEs mirrors the radical, fast-growth business models so many of these companies operate by. Its network of experience, insight and business know-how gives these businesses the confidence to take risks and thrive in this challenging sector or the wider economy.
“I’m sure we will see more companies benefit and thrive due to greater collaboration throughout the supply chain, better links to government decision-makers, and increased networking opportunities with their peers and key influencers.”
techUK will offer access to funding and mentoring between large corporates. They also plan to improve the links between UK Government and the tech industry which will better reflect the contribution that SME’s have to play in the economy as well as to facilitate Government policy of driving up to 25% of all public sector IT spend to the SME community.