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Industry Leaders Urge UK Government for More Support to Bolster Home-grown Software Industry

Published March 28, 2024
1 months ago

Industry magnates from Britain's software sector have made a clarion call to the UK government for increased support to maintain pace with the United States' booming technology industry. With tax incentives and specialized talent visas on their agenda, these leaders, numbering over 120, are vying for crucial government intervention that could potentially transform the conditions within which European software companies operate.

The software industry in Europe has consistently found itself in the shadows of American tech success, where startups typically seek investment across the Atlantic in their scaling phase. This concerning trend has been underscored in a policy document released by Boardwave, which outlines Europe’s inadequate record of nurturing software enterprises to maturity. The white paper contrasts the meager representation of software firms like Sage in Britain's top business echelon to the abundance of similar entities in the US.

Boardwave, helmed by founder Phill Robinson, who boasts a resume including a stint at Salesfore, is taking these concerns directly to the UK government. In recent communication with Michele Donelan, Britain’s technology minister, Robinson expressed the specific challenges faced by the segment of mid-sized software firms that seem overshadowed by their larger counterparts and the more visible, venture-backed startups.

Contrary to the software industry's cries for help, a spokesperson from the department of science & technology confidently expressed that the tech sector in Britain is flourishing, outshining European competition, particularly in comparison to France and Germany. Nonetheless, Boardwave's broad membership is keen on bringing attention to a pivotal part of the tech ecosystem they believe is currently disregarded—a sector that Robinson emphatically argues is the cornerstone of the forthcoming digital economy.

The white paper goes further to proffer strategic suggestions, including expansion of talent visa schemes to attract international workers, increased tax relief for research and development, and even the ambitious proposal of a unified stock exchange akin to a European version of Nasdaq.

IRIS Software Group, a veteran in the field, serves to exemplify a successful British software entity. Its CEO, Elona Mortimer-Zhika, echoed the sentiment for more government support. This notion is shared by industry giants such as Rishi Khosla of Oaknorth Bank and Adam Hale of Notion Capital, who stand behind the campaign for a government-fueled boost to the software industry.

With the report now in the hands of British officials, dialogue has extended beyond the UK borders. Boardwave has initiated discussions with French and German governments, highlighting a cooperative approach in fortifying the industry across Europe.

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