Every year, the U.K. government holds a competition to connect the world”s rising tech businesses with U.K. investors and customers. This year, for the first time, the contest is open to Taiwan. Applications are open to startups that are in what”s known as the “scaleup” stage, which means they”ve grown at high levels for at least three years. Winners will be flown to the U.K. in June to attend London Tech Week. Our reporter Stephany Yang speaks to the British Office in Taipei”s Deputy Representative Andrew Pittam. London Tech Week is a prestigious event that draws tens of thousands of tech players and investors each year. Since 2014, the U.K. government has offered emerging businesses the chance to exhibit and gain exposure at the event. Businesses from Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea have all participated in the U.K. government’s Tech Rocketship competition. And this year for the first time, Taiwan has been invited to take part.Stephany Yang Formosa News reporterThe U.K. Tech Rocketship Awards are open to Taiwan for the first time. Six Taiwanese firms will be invited to join London Tech Week in June.The UK Tech Rocketship Awards are open to Taiwanese businesses that offer innovative solutions, have been trading for over two years, and be looking to internationalize. [[cg]]The awards for Taiwan are divided into three categories – artificial intelligence and data science, technology for an aging society, and future mobility. Two scaleups will be selected for each category. The six winners will win a roundtrip flight to the U.K. to participate in tailored experience at London Tech Week from June 8-12. They will get the chance to expand their global networks and accelerate the setup of their operations in the U.K. British Office Taipei Deputy Representative Pittam says he hopes Taiwanese scaleups will take advantage of the program. Andrew Pittam British Office Taipei deputy representativeHow will this benefit Taiwanese companies – it will expose them to the tech system in the U.K. It will expose them to how things work a bit more internationally. It will help with connectedness. There’s tailor-made programs for the week. We will introduce them to the key players. Applications can be submitted on the “U.K. Tech Rocketship Awards” website until April 13. Winners will be announced on May 11. The British Office hopes that the U.K. Tech Rocketship Award will bring Taiwan and the U.K. closer, because there are lots of areas for collaboration. Andrew Pittam British Office Taipei deputy representative AI and data, future mobility, and life sciences. That’s where we think those areas are right for collaboration. I think these are areas where we think the UK and Taiwan has strengths. Taiwan has a number of strengths in tech. If you look at the history, since the 1970s and ’80s, the world has admired what Taiwan has done with technology both in terms of strength of research as well as the commercialization. We in the U.K. admire what Taiwan has done in terms of technology. We are proud of our tech ecosystem in the U.K. We hope that the U.K. Tech Rocketship Awards will bring us together a bit closer in tech. Taiwan is an innovation hub, with a strong R&D background and talent pool. According to Taiwan Tech Arena start-up development center, Taiwan has a 30-year legacy of world-recognized hardware-software integration expertise. Meanwhile the U.K has one of the world”s largest technology ecosystems. Andrew Pittam British Office Taipei deputy representative The U.K has a strong tech ecosystem. There are a number of reasons around that. We have a very strong education system in the UK. 7/10 of the best universities in Europe are based in the UK. So that talent pipeline coming into tech companies has always been strong. The government has always been committed to supporting the tech ecosystem. Whether that is by setting up and supporting enterprise zones where there are certain tax incentives. From April this year in fact, corporation tax will be lowered to just 17%. There are lots of big tech companies and growing tech companies in the U.K. There are currently over 100 Taiwanese companies operating in the U.K. The U.K. Tech Rocketship award is an opportunity for Taiwanese firms to increase their global reach.
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