UK a leader in the global Safety Tech sector

UK a leader in the global Safety Tech sector

The UK Government recently published the UK Safety Tech Sector: 2021 Analysis and Safety Tech in the UK: Skills and Capabilities reports which both highlight how British tech companies dedicated to making the internet a safer place are thriving. With more people than ever going online during the pandemic, the new research published last week shows the safety tech sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK’s tech industry: 

  • Sector is a world leader with revenues up 40% and 500 new jobs 
  • Companies are creating innovative new technologies to protect children online which will help prepare big tech platforms for UK’s Online Safety Bill 

We were encouraged to see Edinburgh referenced as a high-performing hub alongside Leeds and Cambridge. The UK’s safety tech companies make up a quarter of the international market and their reach is global with more than half exporting to international markets.  

Last year ministers committed to developing the safety tech sector and recently published the draft Online Safety Bill to give online companies a new legal duty of care to protect their users, particularly children, from harm. UK safety tech providers are delivering innovative products that can help companies meet their new duties under the Bill. 

The independent report, The UK Safety Tech Sector: 2021 Analysis, commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) highlights startups working to tackle harmful content online. 

Ian Stevenson, Chair of the Online Safety Technology Industry Association (OSTIA) and CEO of Cyan, added: 

“The report highlights that the UK Safety Tech sector is thriving. As the threat grows, innovators and determined tech creators are finding new ways to support organisations in their efforts to better protect children online, identify abuse and flag harmful content. The UK is already well ahead in the global safety tech sector.” 

“At a time where the exponential growth of technology is seen as a problem, the UK safety tech sector provides solutions to limit online harm at pace and encourages more talented individuals to join the sector as they know that their work will effect change, benefiting and protecting countless people.” 

The sector saw the launch of the Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA) last year and of an innovation network designed to help companies share best practice. The UK also hosted Safety Tech 2021, a world-first Expo event to showcase how technology can be used to support safer online communities. 

The growth of the safety tech sector reflects the strength of the wider UK tech industry where startups grew tenfold between 2010 and 2020. The UK is already well ahead in the global safety tech sector and can use this knowledge to continue to develop the best practices that can be rolled out internationally.