UK lagging behind China and US in terms of innovation, research reveals

The UK has been voted as the third best tech market in the world, according to new research.

Only China and the US sit ahead of the UK, in terms of being the most promising markets for innovation, disruption and technological breakthroughs that have global impact.

The results were published as part of KPMG’s 2018 Global Technology Innovation Report, which surveyed approximately 800 technology industry leaders across the globe for their opinion, and around a fifth (19%) of them named the UK as the third top market, behind China at 26%, and the US at 39%, which was ranked number one for the second year in a row.

Commenting on the results, Tudor Aw, head of technology at KPMG in the UK, said: “The UK tech sector continues to go from strength to strength, with robust performance by mature tech companies and spectacular investment by VCs in emerging UK tech firms. Innovation from the UK technology industries continue to drive economic value and this year’s survey underscores that point.

“There can be no room for complacency however, and in that context, it is heartening to see the government continue to state its view that the tech sector is at the heart of its industrial strategy,” they added.

For this survey, technology industry leaders were asked which three cities, in addition to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, will be the leading technology innovation hubs over the next four years.

Revenue growth was voted as the top metric to measure the success of tech innovation in their organisations, with market share and return on investment placing second and third.

The UK faired well due to a strong year of investment and acquisitions. In 2017, the sector actually experienced a record level of venture capital investment, at $4bn, almost twice the level seen in 2016 and more than the combined investment seen in Germany, France, Spain and Ireland.

Patrick Imbach, head of KPMG’s Innovative startup practice, added: “Many factors affect a city’s perception as an innovation hub, including favourable government policies and incentives, accelerators, tech parks, corporate investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and, in all cases, at least a few highly successful and wildly popular success stories.  

“London has all of the right ingredients to continue to lead the way as an innovative and supportive place to start and scale a business,” he concluded.