Cindy Rose, chief executive at Microsoft UK, explained that tech hubs are on the rise in the UK at the recent London Tech Week event.
As part of Microsoft’s headline sponsorship of the event, Rose took to the stage to discuss the industry’s future, noting that investors are also looking outside London for innovative companies.
“We are seeing cities outside London emerging as technology centres,” she said. “I think we will see technology hubs pop up all over the country, because it’s great way to drive innovation in the sector.”
Cities such as Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester are emerging as major forces in the global technology sector as there is increasing demand for digital skills.
“Some of the world’s most cutting-edge research – focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) – is being done in Cambridge at places like Microsoft Research,” said Rose. “We have an ecosystem of 1,000 partners in Scotland making a huge contribution to the Scottish economy and the technology sector.
“Companies such as Aridhia, which is using AI and cloud technology to advance research into Alzheimer’s, and Estendio, which is helping people with learning disabilities deliver amazing speeches, are contributing significant amounts to the technology landscape in the country.”
Rose also shared the stage with Manish Madhvani, founder of private equity firm GP Bullhound, and Lawrence Jones, founder of cloud-hosting provider UKFast, with all three agreeing that more needs to be done to give people the digital skills needed in today’s working world.
“Technology changes at a staggering pace, and the most effective way to stay relevant is through continuous learning,” said Rose. “More than 500,000 highly skilled workers will be needed to fill digital roles by 2022. That figure is three times the number of UK computer science graduates that the UK has produced over the past 10 years. Solving that problem requires collaboration between business, academia and government.”
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