Yesterday the Prime Minister Theresa May and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the UK a new UK-India Tech Partnership.
The new partnership will identify and pair businesses, venture capital, universities and others to provide access routes to markets for British and Indian entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. The UK announced an initial investment of £1m to pilot the approach and potentially invest a further £13m by 2022.
Initially the pilot will connect the UK with Pune in Maharashtra, focussing on the Future of Mobility, including low emission and autonomous vehicles, battery storage and vehicle light-weighting. Additional connections will be linked to Bangalore with a focus on augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and Artificial Intelligence.
If it is as successful as expected, the Partnership can be scaled up to bring in more regions of the UK and India which share expertise in the relevant fields.
The Digital Secretary Matt Hancock has said that:
“We’re determined to see this incredible success continue, and this ambitious UK-India Tech Partnership will bring together some of the best minds working in tech to unlock its future potential and deliver high-skilled jobs and economic growth in both countries.”
The move has been widely welcomed by stakeholders in the British tech scene, with Julian David, CEO of techUK has said that:
“India is also a key strategic partner for the UK with world-class digital skills. Deepening our engagement will open up opportunities for business in both countries and help ensure we maximise the benefits of technology for our societies and citizens.”
The Partnership, which comes off the back of the successful UK-Israel Tech Partnership, will encourage innovation and productivity by helping businesses in the UK and India collaborate on emerging technologies, develop mentoring relationships and exchange staff. The regional teams will also ensure the impact is felt across the breadth of both nations’ expansive tech sectors, and that successful approaches adopted in one region can be shared and adopted in others.
But what this symbolises more than anything is that the UK is capable of deepening ties and seizing opportunities with friends outside the European Union. India is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and we must capitalise on our bond with the country. The Prime Minister has also announced a further £1bn in commercial agreements between the two countries, presenting lucrative opportunities for British jobs and the British technology sector.
TheUK has a natural strength in technology and innovation and London will remain one of the world’s tech hubs post-Brexit. The UK’s tax incentives, legal system and language make us an attractive proposition for economies like India who are looking to develop.
The Commonwealth does present us with opportunities to expand to different markets where we have natural connections and it is promising to see the Government using CHOGM 2018 to take advantage of this.