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First unified Professional Services Technology Innovation Roadmap targets addition of £1.5bn to West Midlands economy by 2034

A multi-year plan of joined-up initiatives that will fully enable and serve businesses, consumers and investors in the West Midlands and beyond.

SuperTech, the UK’s first professional services technology (ProfTech which includes FinTech, PropTech, LegalTech and InsurTech) supercluster has today released an extensive Research and Innovation Roadmap with the goal of fostering substantial economic growth and generating jobs in Birmingham and the West Midlands region over the next decade.

This roadmap aligns with the vision and national agenda for long term prosperity in the UK as set out in the recent spring budget and reinforced by the government’s Smart Data Roadmap. All outline the growth and importance of using data-led, digital activities to deliver productivity and high-value jobs across key sectors including banking, energy, finance, home buying, retail, telecommunications and transport.

The UK’s digital and business, professional and financial services sectors have outpaced the growth of the UK economy over the last few years and the West Midlands’ professional services sector is nationally and internationally recognised as significant to this achievement.

Consisting of 50k active business, professional and financial services (BPFS) businesses in the region, employing 350k people, contributing £28bn GVA annually the West Midlands is said to have the fastest growing Tech sector in the UK, valued at £15.3bn in 2023, growing c10% since 2021.
Analysis of theProfTech component sectors shows :

> FinTech; estimated to generate over £470m in GVA in-region
> PropTech; 43% of all regional ProfTech businesses have a specific focus on property
> LegalTech; fast emerging nationally-notably in Birmingham

The Roadmap presents analysis and planned activities drawn from over 150 hours of consultation with industry, academia and ProfTech stakeholders. Participants reviewed existing and emerging trends relevant to Professional Services and ProfTech from a regional, national and global perspective.
Results uniquely target the joined up adoption and use of ProfTech to drive prosperity and improve social outcomes.

Four themes are identified as critical focus areas for innovation and research in and from the West Midlands; Productivity, Open Data, Sustainability, Inclusion and Wellness. Driven by a commitment to these areas, the blueprint is an actionable programme of targeted initiatives to address challenges and opportunities through the collaborative work of industry participants (start-ups to large corps) and educational institutions from across the West Midlands.

Hilary Smyth-Allen, SuperTech Executive Lead, commented: “Globally we are on the brink of a new era for Professional Services Technology as the requirements for smart, accelerated service provisioning in areas such as finance, home living and mobility are pushed forward by innovation and demand. This roadmap is not just about improved transformation and ambition, it is a unique, multi-year plan of joined-up initiatives that will fully enable and serve businesses, consumers and investors in the West Midlands and beyond.“

The adoption of a combined framework that reflects the priorities of businesses and university capabilities, suggests a potential  impact of over 4,600 regional jobs and the addition of £1.5bn to the

regional economy in 10 years. Cross sector engagement is at the heart of the roadmap and the delivery of all activities.

Stephen Browning, Challenge Director – Next Generation Services Innovate UK UKRI, added:
“Whether they are global employers or early start-ups, professional companies have always flourished in the West Midlands. The region is at the heart of business and technology innovation in the UK and this roadmap introduces an exhilarating prospect for an area that is poised to transform the impact of Professional Services Technology on the advancing needs of consumers, communities and businesses.“

Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), added:
“Through our own work we know the immense advancement potential of Open Data. By aligning this with Productivity, Sustainability, Inclusion and Wellness as critical focus areas for identified initiatives, this integrated roadmap sets out a successful path for consumer and business enablement in the West Midlands and the wider economy.“

Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, added: “In a global financial marketplace, the entire country needs to be working together: where the Square Mile succeeds, the West Midlands succeeds, and vice versa. Our relationship reflects our shared vision in technology, recognising that technology is central to both national economic growth and the continuing global strength of British financial and professional services. It is critical that the UK continues to be at the forefront of the digital agenda. The SuperTech roadmap provides both an actionable programme and a golden opportunity to celebrate and build on the many national and regional achievements.”

The full Research and Innovation Roadmap is available here.

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