Investment in Britain’s tech sector rose 44% to a record $13.2 billion pounds last year, while the total amount of capital invested in tech startups in many other top countries fell, reported the U.K. government’s Digital Economy Council. BusinessFinancing.co.uk analyzed 10,000 FinTech, or financial technology companies, and found the U.K. has the next highest number of startups —482 —attracting $18.7 billion in funding, ranking it tops in Europe. London alone has 45 unicorns (defined as startups worth at least $1 billion). The eight British companies that reached unicorn status in 2019 were Rapyd, CMR Surgical, Babylon Health, Sumup, Trainline, Acuris, Checkout.com and OVO Energy, taking the total created in the U.K. to 77. And the technology isn’t just about the hardware. The U.K. is the world’s fifth largest exporter of tech services, according to Tech Nation’s 2020 Unlocking Global Tech report.
British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened a $13 million-plus artificial intelligence (AI) research hub inLondon to try to find new treatments for cancer and other diseases. GSK employs some 80 AI experts globally. The site's 30 engineers and scientists will research gene-related disease causes and work on AI-related drug discovery through partnerships with the nearby Alan Turing Institute, as well as tech companies NVIDIA and Cerebras. The GSK site is located in King’s Cross, a hub for other tech and data startups. The AI hotspot is already home to Google’s DeepMind, formed back in 2010 to explore AI.
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