EdTech UK launched to promote growth of education and learning technology sector


EdTech UK, a national strategic body focused on promoting the UK's education technology sector, has been launched in London.

The 45 billion global Edtech sector is projected to be worth 129 billion by 2020 according to a report by London & Partners and EdTech UK. Edtech is one of the fastest growing areas of the digital economy, accounting for 4 per cent of all digital businesses with over 1,000 start-ups in England alone, a fifth of which are based in London.

London is well-positioned to take advantage of Edtech opportunities with more world class universities than any other, as revealed by the Times Higher Education World University 2015 rankings, and a number of established Edtech companies such as Pearson, Knewton, and Kaplan.

Successful London-based Edtech start-ups include Futurelearn, the UK's first MOOC (massive open online courses) platform, and Showmyhomework, a cloud-based platform for setting and tracking assignments.

Founder of Showmyhomework, Maimish Gohil, commented, "We're proud to be part of the incredible London tech scene. It hosts a wealth of opportunity and talent but there are a lot of people we can give back to as well. London is the ideal destination for us to scale our business."

With schools spending over 900 million each year and education exports worth 17.5 billion a year, Edtech has already proven to be a lucrative market in the UK. The introduction of the national computing curriculum will further help England lead the development of education learning and technology.

"London has all the ingredients to become the Edtech capital of the world a thriving technology sector, the city is globally recognised for education excellence and a leading financial centre," London Mayor Boris Johnson said.

Although London and the UK already hold leading positions in the education and learning technology sector, EdTech UK is expected to accelerate its growth and make industry influencers, educational institutions, technologies, talent, finance, and international marketplaces more accessible.

The body's founding 25 members are made up of the fastest growing Edtech start ups, scale ups, and global companies across a number of sectors such as teaching, training, digital making, e-learning, tutoring, and digital skills.

Ian Fordham, EdTech UK's CEO, said, "Edtech has come of age. The UK is home to some of the world's leading schools, colleges, universities and education businesses.

"EdTech UK will be a pro-active organisation building and accelerating a vibrant education and learning technology sector and leading new developments with our founding partners. It will also be a front door to government, educators, companies and investors from Britain and globally."

Ten of the top twenty fastest growing Edtech companies in Europe are from the UK, but the launch of EdTech UK highlights the necessity of promoting additional growth.

"Growing our Edtech offer is a priority for this government. It's positive that EdTech UK is launching as both a strategic "front door" for industry, investment and government, and a convening voice for the education and learning technology sector," said Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade and Investment.

The thriving tech sector has attracted plenty of talent, making London home to over 71,000 professional developersmore than any other European cityaccording to recent research from London & Partners and StackOverflow.

"Nowhere is the potential of technology to transform a sector more profound than education learning, and nowhere can it be more valuable by enabling London to develop its skills base to meet the future demands of business," said David Slater, Director of International Trade and Investment at London & Partners.

He added, "With a diverse talent pool and some of the best educational institutions in the world, there is arguably no greater city in the world to start and grow an Edtech business."

EdTech UK is supported by the Mayor of London and London & Partners and endorsed by the government. The organisation's advisory board is composed of technology sector leaders including Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital; David Slater, London & Partners; Bethany Koby, Technology will Save Us; Matt Candler, 4.0 Schools; and Ty Goddard, The Education Foundation.