CTA claims UK not showing enough support for tech firms

Gary Shapiro, the CES tech show’s event organiser has raised concern over the the UK government's lack of support for start-up companies, claiming the help available was a ‘source of embarrassment’.

Shapiro, who is also president of the Consumer Technology Association, compared the country unfavourably with France, the Netherlands and Israel.

CES is one of the tech calendar's biggest events and provides companies with a chance to meet and secure orders from retailers, as well as to gain publicity by showing their products to journalists and analysts.

Shapiro said: ”Now we're starting to see other countries take notice. We've seen that the Netherlands and others going in there big time [this year].

"Britain's been a little slow to the game honestly. We have a minister from Britain coming but there's not a lot of activity that we've seen at CES. I think it's a source of embarrassment.

"When I was in London recently, I raised it with one of the ministers, and they said: “Yeah, it's amazing. I can get approval to go to [Texas festival] South by Southwest, but because it's Las Vegas, for some reason it's frowned upon.'

"And that's a pretty short-sighted attitude."

However, a spokeswoman for the UK's Department for International Trade countered: “The UK continues to be a world-leader in the tech and innovation industry, and events like CES can provide UK businesses with vital contacts to build their brand abroad.

"We want to help UK businesses make the most of trade and investment opportunities including in the US, through targeted support and bespoke business matching that better maximises their presence to win vital contracts abroad."

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