A new technology partnership between Britain and India is being predicted to generate significant investment and support the creation of thousands of new jobs across the UK.
Under the Partnership agreed by Prime Ministers May and Modi, the UK will establish a new UK-India Tech Partnership to 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.
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 AI.
The UK will initially invest £1m to pilot the approach and potentially up to a further £13m by 2022. To build the network the Government will engage in-country experts to work with the British High Commission in New Delhi, the Indian Government and the private sector in order to increase tech investment, exports and research and development.
Smaller regional teams will link specific cities and regions in India and the UK.
The Partnership is designed to 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.
It follows on from the success of the UK-Israel Tech Hub which has generated £62 million worth of deals over the past five years, with a potential impact of £600 million for the UK economy.
The most up-to-date figures show the UK exported £358 million of digital services to India in 2015.
Based on these figures, the success of the UK-Israel Tech Hub and the size of the Indian economy, the Government says it believes this initiative could give the UK economy a significant boost. It is estimated the UK-India Tech Partnership could contribute to an increase of thousands of tech jobs in the UK in the coming years.
Digital Secretary Matt Hancock said, “Our world-leading digital economy is booming, worth more than £116 billion a year and employing more than two million people.
“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 Government says that 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.
(Picture shows Prime Minister Modi with DCMS Secretary of State Matt Hancock)