UK remains a world leader in technological innovation

A new report from KPMG suggests that the UK is the third most dynamic global centre of innovation, disruption and technological development behind the US and China. KPMG’s 2018 Global Technology Innovation Report surveyed almost 800 global business executives to reveal the world’s top technology innovation hubs. Of those surveyed, 19 per cent named the UK as the third most promising market for tech breakthroughs behind China at 26 per cent and the US at 39 per cent.

According to the report, the UK tech sector had another strong year in 2017 with businesses posting robust earnings and strong cash flows that led to continued investment in R&D and acquisitions.  Venture Capital investment was at a record level in the country at $4bn which was almost twice as high as in 2016.

The US was named the most promising market for innovation and technology breakthroughs that have global impact for the second year, with China following, both seen as leading regions of innovation and disruption.

In keeping the US on top, more than one-third (34 percent) of those surveyed named the US as the most promising market for tech breakthroughs compared to 26 percent in last year’s report. China remained second at 26 percent, and India ranked third at 13 percent, with the UK and Japan fourth. The report highlights key findings from a survey of nearly 800 technology industry leaders globally about technology innovation, leadership and market trends.

“Innovation from the US and China technology industries continue to drive economic value and this year’s survey underscores that point,” said Tim Zanni, Global and US Technology Sector Leader. “Just look at the investments the key platform companies are making in AI, IoT, robotics and other technologies that have great influence on the way business and consumers engage within our society.”

Zanni added that “globally, the US and China are in fierce competition for ideas, market leadership and economic power and the US market is attracting major China tech giants who know they must have a footprint in the US to maximize their growth.”

Geographically Diverse Leading Cities

Technology industry leaders were asked which three cities, in addition to Silicon Valley/San Francisco, will be the leading technology innovation hubs over the next 4 years. Unlike last year, when the US and China dominated the Top 10, this year’s Top 10 includes cities from the Americas, Asia, Europe and Israel.

1. Shanghai
2. Tokyo
3. London and New York
5. Beijing and Singapore
7. Seoul
8. Tel Aviv and Bangalore
10. Berlin

“Innovation has become decentralised globally with some cities making great progress while others still face macroeconomic and infrastructure challenges,” said Zanni. “Many factors affect a city’s perception as an innovation hub, including favourable government policies and incentives, accelerators, tech parks, corporate investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and, in all cases, at least a few highly successful and wildly popular success stories.”

Other key findings:

Revenue growth now top innovation measurement

Technology business leaders globally said revenue growth is the top metric to measure the success of tech innovation in their organizations, replacing patents, which fell out of the top three. Market share and return on investment were second and third.

CIO rises as innovation driver

Asked to name what function/role has the responsibility to drive innovation in their company, respondents for the first time cited most often the Chief Information Officer ahead of the Chief Innovation Officer. However, respondents in China cited the Chief Innovation officer most often.

Employee hiring set to grow due to economic growth, confidence

More than 90 percent of the global poll said they would hire up to 100 employees in the near future, a sharp increase from 68 percent a year ago. A stronger economic climate was reflected in the global startup survey responses and reflected in their optimistic plans to hire new employees, although one third indicated they won’t be hiring over the next 12 months.

Innovation Visionaries

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was named the top global technology visionary, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai second, followed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg third, and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma fourth. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Bill Gates tied for fifth. Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook were seventh. Google was again cited as the leading visionary company in driving tech innovation. Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla were second, third and fourth. Amazon and Alibaba tied for fifth.