Inaugural UK Tech Week to showcase regional innovation
April is set to herald the launch of the first UK Tech Week, a pioneering event designed to showcase and celebrate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit across the UK’s regions.
The event will commence with a launch gathering on the 22nd of April, with activities scheduled to take place across the UK from the 23rd to the 25th of April, as revealed by UKTN. This inaugural initiative aims to highlight the diverse technological advancements and innovations occurring across various tech hubs nationwide, all under the auspices of UK Tech Week.
Cities lined up for participation include Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Humber, and Manchester, with further locations in the North East to be announced. The week-long celebration will feature a series of events organised by established regional entities such as Birmingham Tech Week, Tech Week Humber, and TechNExt. It is noteworthy that UK Tech Week is envisaged as a separate entity, distinct from the individual flagship events hosted by these organisations.
Stuart Clarke MBE, the founder of UK Tech Week, shared with UKTN his aspiration for the event to reflect the technological excellence across all four nations of the UK, ensuring broad representation and inclusivity.
“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’s efforts are bolstered by Naomi Timperley, an expert in growth and innovation and the co-founder of Tech North Advocates.
This landmark event is set against the backdrop of the UK’s tech sector being the third-largest globally, trailing only the US and China.
Despite the significant growth of regional tech hubs, London remains the epicentre of startup investment, housing a multitude of tech firms and being the birthplace of several $1bn unicorn companies.
The most significant tech event in the UK, London Tech Week, last year drew in over 30,000 attendees.
Clarke has expressed his enthusiasm for participation from the capital, emphasising that the three-day festival aims to unify the UK’s tech community.
The event has garnered backing from prominent organisations within the UK’s tech industry, such as Global Tech Advocates, the UK Tech Cluster Group, and techUK.
UKTN has learned that discussions are underway for governmental backing of the event through 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.”