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January 3, 2017updated 13 Jan 2017 11:39am

UK tech startup support branded ‘an embarrassment’ as CES 2017 kicks off

There are nearly five times as many French companies attending this year's CES compared to UK firms.

By CBR Staff Writer

As the CES 2017 kicks off today in Las Vegas, Nevada, Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro has said that the UK government has not done enough to encourage start-up technology companies.

BBC quoted Shapiro as saying: “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.

Shapiro said that the attitude of the UK government to help start-ups was short-sighted,

President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

when compared to the support that governments from countries such as France give to tech firms.

Citing an example, he said that there are nearly five times as many French companies attending CES 2017, when compared to UK firms.

China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Canada are all ahead of the UK in terms of participation.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT), however, said that it was offering targeted support to such companies.

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She added that it would be more effective for UK attendees to base themselves elsewhere in product-themed areas.

A UK-based start-up noted that the support it secured from the government was insufficient.

Smarter Applications managing director Isabella Lane, who will be unveiling a fridge webcam at CES 2017 that alerts owners to when food nears its expiry date, said, “We’ve been invited to networking drinks from the Holland embassy and plenty of other European countries that have a presence there and support [their start-ups] by doing networking events. For us there is no UK government base at CES.”

BBC reported that previously a UK Trade and Investment stand used to be present at CES, but there will be no stand this year.

Several British electronics retailers will take part at the show, but there is less possibility on discovering anything that is innovated in the UK.

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