Tech overtakes Engineering to become biggest Sector in Bristol

Wednesday February 10, 2021

Bristol is widely considered to be one of the best places in the UK to live and work, making it an attractive prospect for technology businesses and professionals alike. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, analysis from Tech Nation has highlighted that the tech sector in Bristol has overtaken engineering and now officially holds the title of the city’s most dominant industry.

Growth in the Time of Covid-19

The tech scene in the city has seen healthy growth in the past year, despite the impact Covid-19 has had on a global scale. Since 2014, technology start-ups and scale-ups have collectively raised a significant level of VC investment as the city aims to effectively compete with regional tech hubs across the UK, such as Edinburgh and Oxford.

The technology industry as a whole in the city also benefits from close connections with the University, which has thus far spawned more than 100 companies including Ziylo, which is a biotech company with a mission to use technology to effectively treat diabetes. In 2018, Ziylo was bought by Novo Nordisk for £623m.

Tapping into Bristol’s Tech Startup Potential

In addition to start-ups and scale-ups, a variety of big technology firms such as BT, Amazon, Nokia, Oracle and Vodafone maintain a presence in the city. Bristol is currently home to more than 400 technology companies, which collectively employ more than 8,000 individuals.

The prospects for technology professionals are strong, with more than 1,000 job openings in the sector. The average salary for an IT role in Bristol is £51,685 which is £15,000 more than the city’s average wage. The average salary for software engineers sits at £58,070 and many companies are looking for experienced project managers, engineers and software developers.

Dr George Windsor, who is the head of insights at Tech Nation has noted that Bristol’s strong background in microelectrics and robotics ensures that the city is primed to retain its position at the heart of the tech industry in the UK. “This event will be a great opportunity to hear from those in the local tech community on how to ensure Bristol continues to flourish,” he said, going on to say that the higher than average salaries on offer demonstrate how integral the technology sector is to both Bristol and the south west region.

Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter believes that Bristol’s tech sector has proven to be resilient in the face of the adversity experienced by all throughout 2020 but it is important that technology companies in the city continue to attract top talent to ensure this healthy sector growth can continue.

Looking to the Future

In a piece for Computer Weekly, Caroline Dinenage, the UK’s Digital Minister, hails the tech sector as the backbone of the UK economy and that it has helped to ensure the country as a whole is well-placed to get through the coronavirus pandemic. 

Highlighting a desire to continue to build on the strengths of the UK technology sector, particularly in quantum computing and artificial intelligence, Dinenage went on to say that it was important to support businesses to embrace the potential that new and innovative technologies can bring.

The continued investment and Bristol’s strong position as, not only a UK leader but a global leader in tech, ensures that the city is well placed to bounce back from the pandemic and return to growth through innovation.

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