Representatives from more than 60 leading Indian businesses have gathered in Birmingham for the Innovate 2017 conference, in a bid to forge new links with UK technology companies.
Held across two days at the city’s National Exhibition Centre, Innovate 2017 is set to attract 2,750 of the UK’s most innovative thinkers, creators and inventors, and be a showcase of UK and global innovation.
It also forms a key part of the British government’s India-UK Future TECH Month initiative – a series of technology-focused business activities scheduled to take place in the UK and India throughout November. Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) India, the aim is to encourage more British SMEs to export to India and promote the continuation of significant Indian investment in the UK.
British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said: “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.
“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.”
The delegation includes buyers and investors, along with central and state-level Indian government officials. It’s hoped the programme will inspire new partnerships, strengthen tech collaboration and help businesses involved to land new deals.
At Innovate 2017, DIT is bringing together partners from the Indian Government, Invest India, the Indian High Commission in the UK, and the Indian Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, along with Indian State Governments of Karnataka and Kerala.
The focal theme of the programme is – ‘India’s Innovation and Technology Needs – The UK’s offer’. A range of informative sessions will showcase the market opportunities in India, launch the Birmingham element of Invest India’s ‘Access India’ programme, and provide crucial information on professional services and ease of doing business in India. This will be supported by thought-leadership sessions on India’s ‘trillion dollar’ digital opportunity and a panel discussion on data analytics, internet of things and big data.
Amitabh Kant, chief executive of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), has travelled to the UK this month.
He said: “India’s technology sector is set to triple in the next ten 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 will take place today (8) and tomorrow in hall six at Birmingham’s NEC.