Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for supporting trade and investment in the UK’s tech sector

Morning, Thursday, 3rd December 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers to examine next steps for increasing international trade and export markets for the UK tech sector - and for attracting investment.

The context at a glance:

  • the Government’s Future Tech Trade Strategy - which seeks to boost digital trade and establish the UK tech industry as a global player, including through:
    • Digital Trade Network (DTN) - launched to support UK SMEs entering Asian markets
    • Tech Exporting Academy - to provide legal, tax, intellectual property, regulatory and compliance advice for SMEs aimed at the time to market for exports
    • support for international engagement - DIT platform to help mitigate the impact on firms unable to attend international industry events and investor meetings
    • further measures - a new network to support international partnerships for English regions, expansion of DIT’s High Potential Opportunities tech programme, and promotion of UK fintech
  • Tech for Growth - the Government’s programme to grow the role of technology in expanding access to financial services future trading opportunities between the UK and emerging economies
  • The coronavirus Future Fund - fund-matching investment for innovative companies to assist during the pandemic
  • investment - the UK tech sector already attracting high levels of financial backing and with research finding UK tech start-ups have raised £663m in investment the first month after the country went into lockdown driven by activity in the sector

The discussion at a glance:

Tackling the challenges  - including the impact of COVID-19

  • priorities - what the UK tech sector needs from policy and strategies for the sector itself as it moves on from COVID-19
  • opportunities:
    • with the pandemic increasing the need for innovation and new ways of working, what how can UK tech businesses tap into new demands domestically and in global markets
    • what key strategic priorities does it set up for the sector as a whole in terms of skills, talent and the composition of its workforce
  • start-ups - assessing government measures being put forward, and assessing further support new UK-based tech businesses
  • established businesses - what are their particular needs as they adapt to new ways of working and as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme concludes at the end of October

Developing a future trade strategy for the UK tech industry

  • the UK’s international competitiveness and priorities for future trade deals and negotiations
  • supporting SMEs to access global markets and investment
  • the UK’s positioning in emerging economies
  • encouraging investment in the tech industry across the UK’s regions and nations and linking with local industrial strategies and City Deals
  • building on strong trends in investment in UK tech going forward

The agenda:

  • Priorities for the UK tech sector as it moves on from COVID-19 and prepares for the end of the EU exit transition period
  • Tackling the challenges facing the UK tech sector - supporting UK-based tech startups, partnerships and attracting investment, adapting to new ways of working and the impact of the pandemic
  • Putting in place the skills needed to drive sector growth - education and professional development, diversity, and attracting talent
  • Developing a future trade strategy for the UK tech industry - exploiting key opportunities in international trade and export markets, and linking with local industrial strategies
  • Future trade and wider opportunities for the UK tech sector

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for International Trade; DCMS; the Department for Education; HM Revenue and Customs; the Home Office; the Minsitry of Justice; and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Gerard Grech

CEO, Tech Nation

Oriel Petry

Director, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing, Department for International Trade


Simon Staffell

UK Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft

Alison Webster

Chief Executive Officer, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP

Dominykas Broga

Programme Manager for International Trade, techUK

Marco Forgione

Director General, The Institute of Export and International Trade

Parker Webb-Mitchell

Manager of Technical Delivery, nCino

Dr Leslie Kanthan

CEO, DataSpartan