Tech City UK Blog

Welcome to Tech Nation 2017
1000+ data points
61 tech company case studies
200+ community partners


Tech Nation 2017 shows that the UK digital tech sector is one of the country’s economic success stories, growing twice as fast as the wider economy and creating highly skilled workers and well-paid jobs.




The sector remains at the epicentre of the European tech scene but this report also reveals some important new data that underlines how significant the sector is to generating economic growth nationwide:


  • The UK’s digital tech industry turned over an estimated £170 billion in 2015, is growing at twice the rate of the wider economy and is key to boosting the UK’s wider economy, with a contribution of £97 billion in 2015.
  • The digital tech industry generated a further 85,000 jobs over the past year from 1.56 million in 2014 to 1.64 million in 2015, creating jobs at double the rate of the rest of the economy.
  • Similarly, since 2012 there has been a 13% increase in the advertised salaries of digital tech posts, compared with only a 4% rise in those of non-digital jobs.
  • Tech investment in the UK reached £6.8bn in 2016, more than two times higher than any other European country and significantly more than its closest rival, France, which secured £2.4bn.
  • Tech Nation 2017 shows that the average advertised salary for digital-tech jobs has now reached £50,663 a year, compared with £35,155 for the average non-digital salary, making it 44% higher than the national average.



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With more than 2,700 survey respondents from digital businesses across the country contributing their insights, the latest iteration of Tech Nation showcases the continued growth and evolution of the UK, which remains at the forefront of global innovation. With over 1000 data points, 220 community partners, 61 tech startup case studies and 30 UK tech clusters, this version of Tech Nation marks the most comprehensive study to date on the UK’s tech ecosystem.


None of the research done in the report would be possible without our core data partners Nesta, Frontier Economics, JLL, Burning Glass, Pitch Book, Meetup, Github & our corporate partner Oracle, as well as our our brilliant community partners and community leads in particular for their unwavering support and detailed insights into each individual cluster.



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Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:

“This Tech Nation report highlights the fantastic performance of the UK’s digital sectors which are driving growth across the whole country and creating well-paid and highly skilled jobs at twice the rate of other industries.”

“Earlier this month Government published the UK Digital Strategy which will help secure the UK’s place as a world-leading digital economy, attracting the best and brightest of global talent and making Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business.”


Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech CIty UK: “Tech Nation 2017 shows how rapidly the UK’s tech innovation and productivity are gathering momentum. There are now significant tech hubs all over the UK, attracting both international investment and overseas talent. Tech careers now pay 44% more than the national average wage. These foundations will be crucial as we prepare to leave the EU. We need to maintain access to skilled workers while doubling down on home grown tech talent. And we need to think big. This report is all about working together on a common vision: the UK as a global leader in tech.”


Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital & Chair: “Tremendous momentum and results have been achieved in and by the UK’s tech community in recent years but we must continue to ensure that we have the best possible ecosystem in place to help the sector achieve its full potential. In addition, we must also commit to ensure that our young people have the skills and aptitude needed for a career in this industry that is having an impact on every part of UK life.”


Wendy Tan White, General Partner at Entrepreneur First : “There are some big challenges ahead of the British digital tech sector, not least finding the skilled staff to continue growing at this rate, as the UK prepares to leave the EU. London in particular has benefitted from migration, with 20% of startups staffed by EU nationals. Whatever happens in the coming months, the UK must continue to be an attractive place for investors to want to put their money, prioritising support and infrastructure for the startup economy.”


Tamara Rajah, founder of Live Better With: “Starting my tech business has been a life-long dream for me but it is by no means easy. Even so, I am optimistic that my business will be able to succeed with some of the challenges that we face because of the great network of people I have met in my cluster. I know I’m not alone out there and people want us to succeed.”


Michela Magas, founder at Sonaris Systems: “Working in tech right is a great career for a young person right now. Whatever your skills, there are lots of opportunities out there that will give you a well-paid and satisfying career path. Whether you choose to work for a big international company like Facebook or want to strike out on your own and build something, the UK really is the best place from which to do it.”


David Gann, VP of Innovation at Imperial College said: “One of the reasons the UK’s tech sector has been growing so strongly is the presence of world-class universities across the country. Our universities have been producing outstanding research in many new areas of science and tech, including nano technology, artificial intelligence and materials. At Imperial and at other universities around the country there is great excitement that commercialisation of some of this research is finally happening. We must continue to foster strong links between academia and companies to help build a sustainable digital tech sector that values great research and science, for the benefit of the whole economy.”


Simon Calver, Partner at BGF Ventures said: “We know from meeting entrepreneurs around the country that there are deep reserves of talent in tech clusters in the regions of the UK. Support from national investors as well local and national politicians has a big role to play in helping these clusters reach their true potential. With longer term patient capital we are looking to support successful companies through their growth cycle and we are excited that the tech sector offers us many ways to do this, and right across the UK.”



Explore more on each of Tech Nation 2017’s clusters here: