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South Coast has foothold in global tech ecosystem

By Stephen Emerson
21 June 2022

The South Coast has a foothold in the global tech ecosystem, according to Chris Williams a director and tax specialist at EY, and should not be afraid of trumpeting the people and physical assets it has on its doorstep.

EY are sponsors of the Sustainable Tech Company of the Year at The Business Magazine's South Coast Tech Awards which will be held at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 23.

READ MORE: South Coast Tech Awards finalists revealed

Companies nominated in the Sustainable Tech Company of the Year award category are solar specialist Absolar Solutions, sustainable computing supplier Circular Computing and energy firm Utilita Energy.

Chris said: "Within the tech industry - be it with hardware or software - the offering can be expanded quickly around the globe which presents opportunities for businesses here in the South Coast.

"It is a great location and we have a place on the global stage. Sometimes on the South Coast we don't do ourselves justice in terms of talking up the quality of people and opportunity we have here.

"We are right on the coast, will have access to the Freeport and we are not far from London.

"We have good transport links, good connections and people want to invest in the area."

Chris said that EY had backed The Business Magazine's South Coast Tech awards again this year because they wanted to help support the region's tech ecosystem.

READ MORE: How Southampton Science Park supports the South Coast tech ecosystem

He said: "I do care about the community we live in and that would be fair to say for all my colleagues in the office.

"We want to help people grow and thrive and do well in the future by setting their sights high.

"It is a dynamic and interesting space to be working in with entrepreneurs who are bright and clever people.

"It never ceases to surprise me the things that companies and individuals are working on.”

The EY team were also impressed by previous South Coast Tech Awards events organised by The Business Magazine.

He said: "I went to my first event three years ago and was impressed with its organisation, the variety and number of nominations and felt that we should be involved somehow."

Chris was involved in the judging process for this year's event and was impressed by the number of tech companies that were working on products focused on sustainability.

He said: "Tech businesses can sometimes be accused of being all about growth, however many have a societal, sustainability and community focus and are not just about the pursuit of profit at all cost.

"Finalist Utilita is an energy company but also a tech company that uses tech to solve problems around energy and sustainability.

"Tech can help companies, whether they started out as a tech company or have become one, to give back to society."

The EY tax expert said that the region's universities were driving forward innovation and were key to addressing the chronic shortage of talent affecting the tech sector.

Chris said: "There are some great thinkers at our universities including Bournemouth University, Solent University, University of Portsmouth and the University of Southampton.

"There is great mind power and talent here and we need to be careful that this does not drift away to other parts of the world.

"We need to be thinking big and shouting about what is here on the South Coast."