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UK Tech Week to champion regional innovation at inaugural event

UK Tech Week

A nationwide tech week is set to launch in April to celebrate regional innovation and entrepreneurship across the UK.

The first UK Tech Week will commence with a launch event on 22 April with events taking place across the UK from 23 April to 25 April, UKTN can reveal.

It will see separate events take place concurrently at tech hubs across the country under the umbrella of UK Tech Week.

Participating locations so far include Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Humber, Manchester and yet-to-be-determined cities in the North East.

Events will be run by existing regional organisations such as Birmingham Tech Week, Tech Week Humber and TechNExt. UK Tech Week would be separate from participating organisation’s own flagship events.

Stuart Clarke MBE, the founder of UK Tech Week, told UKTN that the aim is to have as much representation from all four UK countries as possible.

“We want to bring events and organisations together to shout about the talent and innovation we have everywhere,” said Clarke, who is also the festival director of the Leeds Digital Festival.

“Tech in the UK can be found in every town and city and we want to highlight it, from the smallest event to the largest”.

Clarke is being supported by Naomi Timperley, a growth and innovation consultant and co-founder of Tech North Advocates.

The inaugural event comes at a time when the UK’s tech sector is the third-largest in the world, behind only the US and China.

While regional tech hubs have grown significantly, London continues to dominate in terms of startup investment, number of tech firms and the creation of $1bn unicorn companies.

The largest UK tech event is London Tech Week, which last year attracted more than 30,000 people.

Clarke said he welcomes participation from the capital, adding that the three-day festival is about “bringing UK tech together”.

The event has secured the support of key UK tech industry organisations including Global Tech Advocates, the UK Tech Cluster Group and techUK.

UKTN understands that there are talks for the government to support the event via the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

“The UK Tech Cluster group champions local tech ecosystems around the country,” said Katie Gallagher OBE, chair of the UK Tech Cluster Group. “We’re delighted to support UK Tech Week as it helps shine a light on all the amazing tech-focused festivals and events across the UK”.

Russ Shaw CBE, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates, said: “The UK’s tech ecosystem has expanded tremendously over the past decade, and it’s important that all the regional hubs connect, collaborate and support one another through initiatives like this.”

Sheila Flavell CBE, president of techUK, said: “techUK are delighted to be a founding partner of the first UK Tech Week. As the trade association for the tech sector, we know how our members across the whole United Kingdom are using digital technology to drive innovation and make a positive impact across the globe.”

UKTN is the media partner for UK Tech Week and will be sharing more details about the three-day event in the coming weeks.