Brazil and South Africa tech hubs to connect with UK
The Brazil and South African tech hubs will be formed of locally-engaged teams based in the respective British Embassy and High Commission.
They will facilitate the sharing of UK expertise and best practice for digital tech with those countries, supporting local entrepreneurs, start-ups and established tech companies through training and mentoring.
The hubs will help to develop digital skills in Brazil and South Africa as well as strengthening partnerships on research and innovation and trade. They will also act as a link for businesses looking to scale up in or export to the UK.
The hub model is based on a successful world first tech partnership between the UK and Israel which has already led to 175 business partnerships, with a potential impact of over £800 million for the UK economy since 2011.
It has also supported jobs growth by building a better skilled digital workforce in Israel. The model will be taken to the each country and tailored to the local market.
The announcement comes a week after new statistics published by DCMS showed that UK tech and digital firms have seen their international trade grow by more than 20 per cent. The UK digital and tech sectors exported more than £39 billion in services in 2016, up from £32 billion in 2015.
South Africa has one of the largest technology sectors in Africa and over a quarter of new startups in South Africa now list themselves as being in the technology sector. It has received the highest amount of investment in technology of any African country.
Brazil is the biggest economy in Latin America and accounts for over half of spend in the region on tech.
The Department for International Trade has identified significant opportunities for UK companies in areas such as smart cities and Agritech.
The Brazilian IT market is the 7th biggest in the world and the country has the 5th largest number of mobile phone and internet users in the world.
The two new tech hubs will join a global network which DCMS is rolling out. This includes the existing Israel tech hub and new UK-India tech hub announced earlier this year.
They will work closely with DfID and FCO to realise the opportunities for Brazil and South Africa, and with DIT’s network of Trade Commissioners, to ensure the full range of opportunities are realised for UK companies.
Over the next three years DCMS aims to expand the network of international tech hubs to more countries. ■