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Building a tech future between the UK and India

A new tech partnership between the UK and India will benefit the digital economy in both countries, says secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Matt Hancock

As I write, I am in India for an exciting three days to launch the new UK-India Tech Partnership, agreed between our prime ministers on Narendra Modi's visit to the UK last month.

Britain is building our relationships around the world and strengthening our bonds with old friends for the future.

The UK and India are a natural fit for the future. There is much that binds our two nations. We are united by personal, professional, and cultural ties that form the living bridge between us - and of course by cricket, my personal sporting passion.

We are both using our technological expertise to improve the lives of our citizens: by increasing trade and boosting investment, by creating growth and jobs, and by addressing the great social challenges of our time.

This new Tech Partnership is ground-breaking, ambitious work - we don’t think such a large, broad, coordinated tech partnership exists between nations anywhere else in the world - and will pave the way for a raft of new deals, bringing jobs and investment to both our countries.

Mutual benefit

The innovative partnership will develop a UK-India Tech Hub in Delhi and pair businesses, universities and tech institutions in our two countries. We are also pairing regions of each country that we believe complement each other and can work to one another’s mutual benefit.

It will spread across the country too. Our Northern Powerhouse will be linked to Karnataka, and they will focus on data, augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and artificial intelligence - fields where both regions already boast considerable strengths.

And the Midlands Engine will link with Maharashtra, with a focus on the transport of the future, including autonomous vehicles. They will jointly consider issues such as low-emission, battery storage and vehicle lightweighting, and work together on the solutions.

Once we know which approaches to these pairings work, we can adopt and adapt them between other regions.

The UK-India Tech Hub will bring together a team of experts in the British High Commission in Delhi and work to increase tech investment and exports.

Seize the opportunities

The UK-Israel Hub, on which it is based, has been a great success. Since it was established in 2011 it has generated £62m worth of deals, with a potential impact of £600m for the UK. We are confident the UK-India Hub will surpass that achievement.

On a packed schedule, I will meet UK and India investors to take forward work on new deals in growing fields like fintech, cybersecurity, health-tech and smart cities. I will also launch the expanded Tech Rocketship awards, which help Indian tech startups establish their businesses in the UK, bringing fresh innovation to our country.

As digital transforms our lives, our societies and our economies, the countries that are determined to make the most of it will be the ones that thrive. We and India share that ambition. Through innovative and forward-looking initiatives such as this UK-India Tech Partnership we are both on course to seize the opportunities this transformative tech brings.

Read more about UK and India tech

This was last published in May 2018

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