British Prime Minister David Cameron will allow Tech City, a government-backed body that promotes technology companies across London, to begin working with the Home Office so that recognized professionals can emigrate to the UK under the Exceptional Talent visa scheme.
Before, these applications were limited in number and needed to be put forward by bodies such as the Royal Academy of Engineering, British Academy or Arts Council England. It’s not yet known how many slots will be allocated to Tech City, but the pathway will be open from April next year.
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Businesses that are recognized by Tech City will now also have access to a 300Mbps 4G service, courtesy of EE. The carrier began testing the new, blazingly fast LTE-Advanced network in east London in November, and EE has promised to prioritize the area for future roll-outs.
The Prime Minister, marking the third year anniversary of Tech City, also unveiled the UK Digital Services Index, which will rank technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The new system is thought to be more inclusive than anything set up before in the UK, acknowledging a wider array of companies that use technology to innovate in sectors such as media, travel and leisure.
The new measures are being topped off with a £15.5 million funding package, controlled by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, to improve the ecosystem in the UK. Up to £12.5 million will be protected for contests focused on research and development projects, followed by at least three competitions with £1 million each for creating new technology hubs.
“This is not just about London,” the Prime Minister said. “We are determined to build a rebalanced economy across the country and get behind the entrepreneurs imagining a new tomorrow in the dozens of technology clusters, accelerators and start-up incubators across Britain.”
To coincide with the announcement , startup incubator MassChallenge said it would be expanding its operations with a new programme in London next year.
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