India-UK Future Tech Month promotes innovation ties
The month of November has been earmarked for a focus on cooperation between India and Britain in the field of digital innovation.
The UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has been running a month-long series of technology-focused business activities in the UK and India under the banner of India-UK Future Tech Month.
The series of events are aimed at showcasing the very best UK technology and innovation to a high-quality Indian audience, including buyers, investors, and central and state-level government officials, DIT said.
Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, said: “November marks one year since British Prime Minister Theresa May led her first overseas trade mission to India, and two years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark UK visit. On both occasions, India and the UK demonstrated their ‘unbeatable combination’, agreeing a range of closer partnerships covering prosperity, science, innovation and technology. These are of course built in PM Modi’s words on a ‘living bridge’ of talent, people, ideas and capital.
“The time is right to redouble our commitment to matching India’s technology demands with the UK’s very best offer, encouraging UK companies to look to India and to encourage Indian companies to grow their businesses in the UK. We are working with a range of partners in the Government of India to lead this new form of partnership this November.
“We are already partners in core PM Modi priorities around ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Invest India’, and we acknowledge the demand for British technology and innovation to meet India’s ambitions as the world’s fastest growing G7 economy. I am confident this India-UK Future TECH month will inspire British businesses to ‘Think India’ and will expose India’s most ambitious businesses to the breadth and depth of the UK’s tech expertise.”
As part of the initiative, DIT organised for 60 Indian companies across 10 sectors to take a tour of UK-wide business hubs in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry and London to inspire new partnerships, strengthen tech collaboration and land business deals, spanning sectors as diverse as data analytics, Internet of Things, ICT services, advanced manufacturing, electric vehicles, automotive, healthcare, life sciences, food and drink and creative industries.
The centrepiece of the month-long series was an India Zone at the Innovate 2017 summit in Birmingham, which brought together partners from the Indian government, including Invest India, the Indian High Commission in the UK, and the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, along with the state governments of Karnataka and Kerala. The focal theme of the programme was ‘India’s Innovation and Technology Needs – The UK’s offer’ and the visits were also supplemented by business-focused ‘meet the buyer’ events in the Midlands and Manchester.
Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog, said: “India’s technology sector is set to triple in the next 10 years. Our Prime Minister has listed ‘Digital India’ among his top priorities. We share longstanding deep commercial partnerships with the UK, which we are keen to build on even further. Together India and the UK have the potential to transform many areas including financial technology, cyber security, skill development and R&D.
“There is a digital revolution in India at the moment and the country is inching towards an even more cost-effective digital economy. We have one of the largest digital skilled work forces globally, and are keen to partner with the UK on domestic digital skill development and technology exchange. I see the UK’s potential as limitless; India is already the fourth-largest investor in the UK with a staggering 31 per cent of investments in the technology and telecom sector.
“The initiative of bringing Indian and UK businesses face to face in the UK will I am sure develop strong future technology partnerships and business deals.”
Innovate 2017 was supported by thought-leadership sessions on India’s ‘trillion-dollar’ digital opportunity and a focus on data analytics, internet of things and big data.
Innovate UK Chief Executive Dr Ruth McKernan said: “Innovate 2017 is an excellent platform to showcase the existing strong UK-India innovation links and foster further important business collaborations for the benefit of both our economies… hope it will generate some significant business deals and partnerships.”
In India as part of the tech month series, DIT brought together innovative UK healthcare companies to the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India’s 45th Annual Conference in Bhubaneswar and held meetings with companies in Chennai. DIT also brought an oncology trade mission to the Indian Cancer Congress in Bengaluru and the same mission also participated in the India UK Healthcare Forum in Mumbai.