Minister leads UK tech firms on Las Vegas excursion

DIT grants support attendance at CES extravaganza 

The Las Vegas strip picture by night   Credit: DUKE NG/Pixabay

The government is this week leading a delegation of 67 UK companies to the world’s largest technology event.

CES, which is held in Las Vegas each January, will this year include a government-backed UK Pavilion among the show’s 4,400 exhibitors. A total of 20 British companies will be represented at the stall in CES’s Eureka Park section – an area which is dedicated to start-ups.

Among them will be three brand new start-ups born out of Future Worlds – an accelerator programme run by the University of Southampton. The trio of companies will be unveiled on consecutive days over the course of the event.

Also forming part of the wider UK delegation, which is being led by international trade minister Graham Stuart, will be 13 start-ups from the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative. Included among these will be Manchester-based Swifty Scooters, which claims that it created “the world’s first premium foldable kick-scooter for adults”.

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Also representing the Northern Powerhouse is Liverpudlian virtual reality-specialised games developer CGA Simulation, and North Yorkshire-based Peratech, which creates “force-sensing” technology products.

The attendance of the firms forming the official UK delegation is supported by the government’s Tradeshow Access Programme. The scheme, which is run by the Department for International Trade, allows SMEs to apply for up grants of up to £2,500 which can be used to support their attendance or exhibition at international trade shows.

The programme covers more than 250 events around the world and eligible companies can receive up to six separate grants.

“The UK’s tech sector is world-class,” Stuart said. “I am proud and excited to lead our delegation to CES, building on the success of last year and unleashing British technology to the world. A global show like CES presents a huge opportunity for the British businesses we are supporting to attend, especially as we look to increase trading relations around the world. Whilst here, I intend to spend my time championing our phenomenal tech sector to global investors and get deals over the line, to ensure our tech exports continue to boom.”

Over the next few days, the minister is scheduled to meet with US secretary of state for commerce Wilbur Ross, as well as a range of state governors, in a bid to “build further support for a future UK-USA trade deal”.

CES – which stands for Consumer Electronics Show – was first held more than 50 years ago. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s biggest technology expo, with close to 200,000 attendees expected this year.


Sam Trendall

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