Birmingham tech firm helps Britain boom on global stage

Department for International Trade helps record number of UK firms to exhibit at world’s largest mobile technology show.

A record 167 UK tech companies are flying the flag for Britain this week at the annual Mobile World Congress in a bid to attract global business partners, helped by Government support.

They join firms from over 200 countries at the largest ever gathering of over 100,000 tech professionals, entrepreneurs and investors from global tech giants like Samsung and Huawei to new start-ups. With one of the largest national presences the UK, through DIT, is helping small firms across the country showcase their ideas abroad.
Of the bumper delegation travelling to Barcelona from across the UK, 58 companies secured Government financial support, including three from the West Midlands region.

Speaking at the event, International Trade Minister Greg Hands said: “The world continues to see the UK as a leading technology destination of choice, with global tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google leading the charge to invest in Silicon UK.

“We have some of the most innovative tech talent and entrepreneurs in the world, and I want to encourage other investors to take notice and take advantage of our expertise and ideas. Global industry shows, like Mobile World Congress, are a huge opportunity for small businesses, and my department is here helping more UK companies than ever build the connections they need to revolutionise the world and go global.”

The UK’s tech sector attracts more international inward investment than the rest of Europe combined with 25 percent of all overseas inward investment into Europe coming to the UK. Over 348,000 people work in UK telecomms and related software development.

DIT is working with 75 UK firms at Mobile World Congress to showcase their products and ideas and match them with potential partners and investors through meetings at the conference. This follows the continued commitment of global brands to the UK with Snapchat choosing the UK for its new international HQ, and Google and Facebook both increasing their staff here.

With worldwide mobile data traffic expected to increase a hundredfold in the next five years, as more people get online, the government is helping UK firms seize an increasing global market.

Stafford-based eg solutions, a provider of enterprise workforce optimisation solutions, is one of the West Midlands contingency. The firm is one of the very few IT companies in the UK founded and run by a woman. It is also one of a handful of IT companies listed on AIIM with a woman at the helm. Elizabeth Gooch, managing director, said: “Enterprises are being transformed as a result of changing customer interactions and a new wave of technologies such as smart devices are being deployed to bring service closer to the customer.

“As workers become more mobile, organisations need a solution to allocate work, manage the performance of their workforce wherever they are and Operations Managers need to manage their teams whilst on the road. We have developed eg mobile™ to extend the reach of our back office workforce optimisation suite to meet those needs. MWC is therefore the ideal vehicle to showcase our solutions for today’s mobile worker.”

Dr David Tanner, business development director of Birmingham-based Smart Antenna Technology, which develops complex radio frequency antenna systems that integrate 2/3/4G, WiFi, GNSS and Bluetooth into one compact unit, is also attending. He is launching its four-port hinge antenna, Invisible WiFi antenna and connected car antennae and will also be seeking new markets in which to trade. At the moment, all its sales are to the USA and Taiwan, but it is hoping to attract the attention of manufacturers in China and Europe, plus new clients in the USA.

“We are showing our technology to potential OEMs and designers who have the need to put antennae into challenging environments such as sub-optimal spaces and under metal covers,” he said. “Without DTI support we probably would not attend MWC.”