I am in India for an exciting three days. It will be my privilege to launch the new UK-India Tech Partnership, agreed between our prime ministers during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK last month.
Britain is building our relationships around the world and strengthening our bonds with old friends for the future. The UK and India are a natural fit in the future. There is much that binds our two nations — we are united by personal, professional, and cultural ties that form a living bridge between us, and of course by cricket, my personal sporting passion.
We’re both using our technological expertise to improve the lives of our citizens — by increasing trade and boosting investment, creating growth and jobs, and addressing the great social challenges of our time.
This new tech partnership is ground-breaking, ambitious work — we don’t think such a large, broad, coordinated tech partnership exists between nations anywhere else in the world — and will pave the way for a raft of new deals, bringing jobs and investment to both our countries.
The innovative partnership will develop a UK-India Tech Hub in New Delhi and pair businesses, universities, and tech institutions across our countries. We are also pairing regions from each country that we believe complement each other and can work to one another’s mutual benefit.
These pairings will spread across the country too. Our Northern Powerhouse will be linked to Karnataka, and they will focus on data, augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and artificial intelligence, fields where both regions already boast considerable strengths.
And the Midlands Engine will link with Maharashtra, with a focus on the transport of the future, including autonomous vehicles. They will jointly consider issues such as low emission, battery storage and vehicle lightweighting, and work together on the solutions.
Once we know which approaches to these pairings work, we can adopt and adapt them between other regions.
The UK-India Tech Hub will bring together a team of experts in the British High Commission in Delhi and work to increase tech investment and exports.
The UK-Israel Hub, on which it is based, has been a great success; since it was established in 2011 it has generated £62 million pounds worth of deals, with a potential impact of £600 Mn for the UK. We are confident the UK-India Hub will surpass that achievement.
On a packed schedule, I will meet UK and India investors to take forward work on new deals in growing fields like fintech, cybersecurity, health-tech and smart cities. I will also launch the expanded Tech Rocketship awards, which help Indian tech startups establish their businesses in the UK, bringing fresh innovation to our country.
As digital transforms our lives, our societies, and our economies, the countries that are determined to make the most of it will be the ones that thrive. We and India share that ambition. Through innovative and forward-looking initiatives such as the UK-India Tech Partnership, we are both on course to seize the opportunities this transformative tech brings.