A senior British minister is set to visit India to launch regional alliances under the UK-India Tech Partnership, which is expected to pave the way for a raft of new deals bringing jobs and investment to both countries.
Matt Hancock, Digital and Culture Secretary, is set to confirm that the partnership will link the Midlands Engine with Maharashtra with a focus on future mobility, including low emission and autonomous vehicles, battery storage and vehicle light-weighting.
He will also announce that the Northern Powerhouse will be linked to Karnataka with a focus on data, augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and AI.
The UK government expects the partnership to link other regions in the UK and India based on the success of these two regions.
“The UK and India are global leaders in tech and by deepening our ties we can open up huge opportunities for business and citizens in both countries,” Hancock said.
“Our new UK-India Tech Partnership will not only lay the foundations for new investment, growth and jobs, but it will also boost collaboration on the technologies of the future that will improve and revolutionise our lives,” he said.
The tech partnership, announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to London last month, will pair businesses, universities and tech institutions in the two countries and develop a new UK-India Tech Hub in Delhi.
In Delhi, Hancock will address the Indian tech industry body NASSCOM, meet leading Indian firms including Paytm, Quatrro and DevITPL, and confirm a new UK-India Tech Thought Leadership Summit will be held in India later this year.
He will also meet with UK and Indian investors to lay the foundations for new deals in areas such as fintech, cybersecurity, health-tech and smart cities and launch the expanded Tech Rocketship awards, which helps Indian tech start-ups establish their businesses in the UK, boosting fresh innovation in Britain.
In Mumbai, he will champion the UK’s artificial intelligence and fintech industries at an event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian business leaders. This will build on recent agreements for the UK’s financial services industries to work closer together and build stronger economic links between London and Mumbai.
Hancock will be the first Cabinet minister to visit India following Modi’s visit to the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April, when the countries announced GBP 1 billion worth of new commercial deals and more than 5,500 tech jobs. Hancock will also promote the 2019 Cricket World Cup and the ECB’s new South Asia Strategy, and will agree to work closer with India to tackle match-fixing and anti-doping in sport. He will visit the National Museum’s India in the World’ Exhibition developed in partnership with the British Museum, and support newly launched BBC World Service language services at the World Service Delhi Bureau.