Newcastle is the fastest growing tech hub outside London
MP Matt Hancock says the North East is thriving with tech jobs and Britain is a quantum computing leader
MP Matt Hancock has called the North East of England the fastest growing tech hub outside of London, using it as another example of the UK being a world leader in technology.
Speaking at a Fintech Central event sponsored by True Potential, the minister of state for digital said that Newcastle has digitally transformed over the last four decades and is now home to 30,000 tech jobs.
"Looking back, the rejuvenation of this city since the 80s has been incredibly exciting to see and True Potential is a big part of that," he said.
"I would like to give you a great big congratulations for what you have achieved so far and tell you, that in the future, as you go from strength to strength we are beside you every step of the way."
Hancock added that the rejuvenation of Newcastle and the North of England was a symbol of something bigger, saying that "innovation, creativity and technical capability" is going to change how Britain would make its living in the 21st century.
According to Hancock, the UK has the third highest tech investment in the world after China and the USA, but London "wears the crown" for fintech.
"No doubt that the UK is the best in the World for Fintech. The fact that we are such an international financial sector as well as being great at tech has meant that we are front of the queue, but there are places that want that crown," he said.
Part of the reason that Hancock believes the UK has an advantage in financial technology is that competitors such as New York have a complicating overlay of regulators. And the tech bastion of China is limited by its values, which contrast to those of Britain.
"China is pretty much looking for every tech crown going, but they find it more difficult because they don't have the same naturally instinctive liberal approach that we have got."
However, Hancock stressed that the county must keep innovating if it is to compete with the rest of the world and one area that he thinks the UK can lead the way is quantum computing which he said could be "even bigger than the impact of AI".
"In quantum, there is no doubt, the UK has the best technology on the planet. It is mostly happening in Cambridge, in research labs, and it is just starting to be scalable from infinitesimally small but incredibly rapid computational power to being of useable scale."
"We are in front at the moment, but traditionally the UK has been good at innovation but questionable at the commercialisation, which we have found harder. We have to stay right at the front of the quantum race, which is only just in the starting block right now."
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