Is the UK still a leading source of tech innovation?

The impact of IoT

The UK has slowly become a leader in producing and implementing IoT technology, with this year seeing Ofcom and the UK government developing regulation across all industry verticals in the UK.

"More than ever before, data is the entrepreneur's currency and an essential building block of the IoT," Kanter continues. "Yes, there remains an obvious need to update data protection and cyber security but more and more projects are delivering benefits to users and citizens around the work right now under current regimes and the UK should aim to be at the forefront of such work.

"The 40 million budget allocation for IoT projects announced in March is welcome news, but investment in incubators and test beds should be matched with a drive to take advantage of what is already available and proven to work.

"To ensure that current conversations around IoT become a reality in the UK, the government must embrace the IoT working across the silos, removing barriers to deployment and investment especially in areas where public and private sectors work together to take steps to reliase the benefits today."

A recent report from Gartner highlighted the potential for IoT technology to completely overhaul the datacentre market, technology providers and sales and marketing models.

It also estimated that 26 billion IoT units will be installed by 2020, with incremental revenue of more than $300 billion generated.

Last year, a UK tech consortium made up of more than 40 companies and funded by the Technology Strategy Board launched HyperCat, which enables competing standards to become interoperable, the aim being to make it easier to adopt IoT devices that communicate with one another.

Daniel Knight, technical director at Fibaro UK, tells IT Pro: "IoT will become a ubiquitous part of society and business in the upcoming years and it's crucial that government recognises its importance.

"From smart technology that helps home owners monitor their energy consumption to connected devices enabling industry to be more efficient in communications, IoT will be a key part of our world as the technology continues to develop and grow."

There are many challenges ahead for the UK tech industry, many of which form direct barriers to innovation from new talent and fresh start-ups.

There is also, however, a general sense that the nation remains at the forefront in Europe and around the world, with the expansion of Tech City to other regions helping to foster talent in different places, capitalising on innovation outside of the capital.

The UK is very much still a leading source of tech innovation, then, even if that innovation is coming from some unexpected places.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at