Budget 2015: Support tech clusters throughout the UK

Budgetary support for technology clusters is great news for the UK’s technology prowess.

Last year alone, the tech sector contributed £91.1 billion to the economy. The UK is well recognised for the geographic spread of innovative work in this sector.

However, while the majority of big data roles advertised are London-based, our recent research with the Tech Partnership revealed the biggest increase in demand for these positions is dispersed among regions away from London and the South East.

This supports the need for clusters across the country and ensures our spread of talent is optimised. However, neither talent nor technology exists in isolation.

Last year’s budget saw George Osborne announce a five-year £42 million fund to help make Britain a world leader in big data and algorithm research. Located in King’s Cross, The Alan Turing Institute for big data brings together academics, cultural and scientific minds.

It is the collective, dynamic thinking that will inspire and drive change in our economy. Investment in education is needed to create a new generation of data scientists; our research with the Tech Partnership revealed there will be a 160 per cent rise in demand for big data specialists up to 2020 so we need additional manpower to turn big data into actionable insight.

The UK’s data capability is critical to our future and should be integral to the technology clusters. The focus on new ways of collecting, organising and analysing big data to drive innovation and technology development is here to stay.

It is the foundation for our digital economy.

Laurie Miles, Head of Analytics at SAS UK & Ireland.