In Principle

This week the Government announced some tweaks to way tech will be regulated.

As I've argued in the past, over half of businesses think the level of regulation in the UK is an obstacle to success; however, it’s not just a matter of cutting. There are tradeoffs – regulation doesn’t just protect consumers and the environment, at it’s best, it also helps promote competition and support economic growth.

To help guide entrepreneurs in emerging technologies, we should embed the Innovation Principle across government with regulators across all relevant industries creating break-out zones where entrepreneurs can test new technologies. The Financial Conduct Authority’s Sandbox is an exemplar of this. It’s a safe space in which fintech companies can innovate by testing products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment, while ensuring that consumers are appropriately protected. 

Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced a new Regulatory Horizons Council to advise government on rules and regulations that may need to evolve and adapt to keep pace with technology. Also, a Regulation Navigator will be created – a new digital interface to help businesses ease their way through the regulatory landscape and bring their ideas to market quickly.

In addition, Clark announced a partnership with the World Economic Forum to share best practice on getting innovative products and services to market, and a review of the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, which backs projects that are testing new technology in partnership with the regulators in a safe but innovative environment.

We aren't just a think tank for tech entrepreneurs, but it's impossible to ignore the importance of this sector. In fact, it's increasingly awkward describing tech as a 'sector', as it becomes is critical to the way nearly all businesses deliver their products and services. To an increasing extent: every business is a tech business.

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