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UK must support deep tech in Silicon Valley goal, says Octopus Ventures manager

Octopus Ventures Silicon Valley
Image credit: Octopus Ventures

The UK should not be aiming to become the “next Silicon Valley” and should instead “play to our strengths” and give more support to deep tech companies, according to a fund manager at Octopus Ventures, one of the country’s most active tech investors.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said on several occasions that he wants to drive UK tech sector growth and emulate the size and scale of the US, home to tech giants like Google and Facebook.

Despite the chancellor winning praise from the tech sector for his role in rescuing Silicon Valley Bank UK from collapse, he has also faced criticism for making cuts to the country’s R&D tax credit scheme.

Zoë Reich, deep tech fund manager at Octopus Ventures, told UKTN that it was “really unfortunate” to see changes to the R&D tax credit allowance, announced by Hunt during the Autumn Statement. It’s a move that has been heavily criticised by the tech ecosystem, with industry body Coadec warning it will cost startups an average of £100,000....