Published on 26 June 2024
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Competitiveness, productivity and innovation in the UK’s computing sector

Despite the UK's high value computing sector, productivity growth has slowed since the financial crisis, and there are few large companies. Filip Mandys and Diane Coyle analyse the UK computing sector's competitiveness and future growth prospects.

The UK (United Kingdom) computing sector represents an important part of the UK economy, with a long and rich history, and an important role throughout the twentieth century. While the sector consists of a wide range of firms and research institutions, and contributes to the development of frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, and quantum computing, UK firms also face significant challenges. This includes intense global competition, lack of scale, and shortages of skilled labour.

This policy paper provides an in-depth review of the UK’s computing sector, assessing its competitiveness and prospects for its future growth. This includes examining various subsectors, comparing the UK with competitor countries, and identifying opportunities and challenges faced by UK companies. The paper provides policy suggestions to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate challenges. The motivation for this study is the fact that although the computing sector plays a key role in the UK economy, its productivity growth has been slow since the 2008 financial crisis, struggling to sustain its previously robust productivity performance.

Blog: In search of a strategy: prospects for the UK’s computing sector


Dr Filip Mandys

Research Associate

Dr Filip Mandys is a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the drivers of productivity in key sectors...

Diane Coyle 2018

Professor Diane Coyle

Bennett Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Professor Coyle co-directs the Bennett Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes. Biography Professor Dame Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at...

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