As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 kicks off on 3 January, CEO Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Technology Association that organises the event has said that the UK government has not done much to encourage start-up technology firms.
"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," said Shapiro.
He compared the support that governments from countries like France have given to tech firms and said Shapiro that the attitude of the UK government was short-sighted. Citing an example, he said that nearly five times as many French companies are attending the year's biggest consumer technology trade fair as compared to British firms. Canada, China, Taiwan and South Korea are all ahead of the UK in terms of participation.
However, a spokeswoman for the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) said that it was providing "targeted support" to such firms. She added that it would be more effective if UK attendees were to base themselves elsewhere in product-themed areas.
Nonetheless, a UK-based start-up stressed that the support it got from the British government was not sufficient.
Isabella Lane, managing director of Smarter Applications, who will be showcasing a fridge webcam at CES that alerts owners 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."
According to BBC, earlier a UK Trade and Investment stand used to be present at CES, but this year there will be no stand. Numerous British electronics retailers will be thronging the show, but are less likely to find anything that is innovated in the UK.