At London Tech Week today [14 June] the Department for International Trade announced the semi-finalists of its tech scale-ups competition, the Tech Rocketship Awards.

The competition, promoted by the GREAT Global Trade campaign, is open to established fast-growing, high potential tech businesses and drew over 250 highly competitive entries all corners of Europe, Turkey and Israel. Entrants have today been whittled down to 16 semi-finalists, representing 12 different countries.

This year, for the first time in Tech Rocketship history, there will be a Diversity in Tech Award to celebrate and support founders from diverse backgrounds and connect them with the Venture Capital funding networks, incubators, customers and R&D support to help them succeed via the UK. Diversity is vital to the continuing strength of the UK tech sector and the UK is committed to attracting and supporting the best talent.

The overall winners in the AI, 5G, AgriTech, Digital Health, Cyber Security and Climate Tech categories will be announced at the Web Summit in Lisbon this November. They will receive fully-tailored support to aid their expansion in the UK, with market visits, access to tech clusters, venture capital, and the UK’s unique ecosystem of support for ambitious tech companies.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said:

Innovative tech companies like these play a significant role in the UK thanks to their investment that creates jobs and boosts local economies.

With the UK being one of the easiest places to set-up, scale and grow a business, investors can access a market of over 60 million people, diverse suppliers and partners, together with a range of programmes to help businesses of all shapes and sizes grow.

Investors are looking at industries of the future that will support sustainable economic growth and recovery, whether that be technology, clean growth, life sciences or advanced manufacturing – and that’s where the UK excels. I look forward to welcoming many of these excellent companies to the UK.

From the previous awards in 2020-21, five companies (InoBat, CYE Security, Geckomatics, Coyosy, Shield Financial Compliance) have successfully opened offices in the UK, showcasing the continued attractiveness of the UK as an investment destination for European businesses.

German country winners in the Climate Tech category this year, Plan A has already announced an investment into the UK. The Berlin-based tech start-up is currently setting-up its second-largest office in London, with around 20 employees expected by the end of 2022 and 100 staff by 2025. Plan A provides a B2B software as a service (SaaS) solution for companies to track, reduce their environmental footprint, and create sustainability reports.  Their UK presence will focus on sales and climate & data science, and include senior management staff.

Meanwhile, last year’s silver medallist InoBat has agreed a strategic cooperation with UK lithium processing company Green Lithium, planning the UK’s first lithium refinery in the North of England. Under the partnership, Green Lithium will supply InoBat with battery-grade lithium chemicals. Inobat, headquartered in Slovakia, has around 60 employees, 10 of which are based at its new office located at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre,  launched in March this year.

Chris Barton, HM Trade Commissioner for Europe said:

There is no better place for ambitious tech companies to grow than the UK. This is the number one country in Europe for Unicorns, and UK tech VC investment is the third largest in the world. Our tech sector is the home of forward-thinking innovators, venture capital, R&D clusters and opportunities for growth across the whole of the UK. I look forward to welcoming all the winners to the UK.

Kenan Poleo, HM Trade Commissioner for EECAN Eastern Europe Central Asian Network said:

Turkish companies have responded brilliantly to the Tech Rocketship Awards, which will provide the lucky winners from the vibrant Turkish tech ecosystem with a rocket-powered, fully-tailored direct route to the financiers, incubators, tech-savvy customers, and infrastructure needed to help them make that next great leap from ambitious scale-up to unicorn.

Ian Bowen-Morris, Head of International Marketing at the Department for International Trade said:

As part of our trade and investment promotion, the GREAT Global Trade campaign is proud to support the Tech Rocketship Awards, highlighting the UK as the leading destination in which to expand and grow their innovative companies.

Partners in the awards are Goodwille, Tech Nation, techUK, EY, and Judges will include Jude Ower MBE, Priya Guha and Christian Kumar.  The campaign has been supported throughout by the Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur Programme and their network of Dealmakers.

2021-22 Tech Rocketship Awards Semi-finalists:

5G Category

  • AD Knight, ISRAEL
  • Neutroon, SPAIN

AgriTech Category

  • Blue White Robotics, ISRAEL

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Category

  • Spotlite, PORTUGAL
  • Born Digital, CZECH REPUBLIC

Climate Tech Category

  • BrighterBins/Smartends, BELGIUM
  • Monolithos Catalysts & Recycling, GREECE
  • PlanA.Earth GmbH, GERMANY
  • Kavaken, TURKEY

Cybersecurity Category

  • Facephi, SPAIN
  • Smart Global Governance, FRANCE
  • Authenteq Tarbena GmbH, GERMANY

Digital Health Category

  • Ledidi AS, NORWAY
  • Enbiosis, TURKEY
  • Probando GmbH, AUSTRIA

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    UK Tech Rocketship Awards shortlist announced at London Tech Week

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