An array of ‘blue and green’ tech firms took centre stage in London for the launch of the first South West of England Tech Prospectus.

Unveiled in front of over a hundred city-based investors and tech sector players, the prospectus, commissioned by Tech South West, revealed the scale of the blue and green economy across England’s largest region.

Overall, the South West of England tech sector has grown to some 18,527 companies, with a collective turnover in 2023 of £46.7 billion, according to data in the prospectus, supplied by Beauhurst. 

3,962 of those companies operate in the net zero tech sector, producing turnover of £24.1bn.

Altilium, Kelpi,, Cleaner Seas Group, LettUs Grow, Oxi-Tech, MolendoTech and ARC Marine were amongst the companies that took to the stage for the showcase element of the launch. 

Between them, they are operating globally across marine tech, agritech and climate tech, and have already raised tens of millions of pounds of investment from UK and overseas investors, and government funding. 

The prospectus has been developed in partnership with Future Space Bristol, Microsoft, Neighbourly and Barclays Eagle Labs, and includes key data from Beauhurst and other national and regional sources. 

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The launch was at Howden UK’s global headquarters in the City of London, before Tech South West hosted investors and founders at a private dinner in the world famous Gherkin building.

“The cutting edge of net zero technology is emerging fast across the South West peninsula, because of the talent that is attracted and embedded across the region,” said Dan Pritchard, founder of Tech South West.

“We have powerhouse universities, specialist tech hubs, plus UK and global environmental organisations, along with world class research centres in the region. And the growth is incredibly impressive, the opportunity immense, and the work vital if we are to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.”

The prospectus highlights the limited funding from the government into the region, with the first ‘Nations and Regions’ growth funding allocated to the region going live in 2023, years after the first Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine funds, and just a fraction of the amounts pumped into those funds and their recently launched successor funds.

Pritchard added: “To a packed audience we set out the case for this golden opportunity to back the net zero tech generation. London gets over 80% of venture capital investment into UK tech, and yet South West tech firms have a better success rate – they are 17% more likely to be operating after five years than if they were based in London. 

“Imagine what we could do together with just a fraction of that London investment redirected to the South West.” 

Recommendations include a new government fund to start to level the playing field, 20% larger than the current £200m South West Investment Fund, alongside an investment focus on ‘blue and green’ innovation – renewable energy, sustainable mining and battery technology – and recognising the region as a national centre of excellence.

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