In 2017, we launched the Tyto Tech 500 Power List as a way to identify the most influential figures within the UK technology sector and to understand what truly creates influence. We included Germany in our analysis in 2019 and added France the year after, to give us greater insight into Europe’s three largest economies.
Today, as we launch the 5th annual Tech 500 report, our objective assessment of influence across the pan-European tech sector is more comprehensive than ever. We’ve expanded our analysis of influencers in France from a Top 100 to a Top 500 list, as in the other two countries, and have tracked new technology categories at the cutting edge of science, including quantum computing and SpaceTech.
So what have we learned in our fifth year of examining and identifying influence?
Tech 500 2021 key findings
Our first key takeaway is that GreenTech is more relevant than ever. In fact, in the pan-European Tech 500 list, GreenTech has risen to fourth most populated category among the 17 technology sectors we analysed.
Sustainability and environment issues remain a key topic sitting high up the political, social and media agenda. Plus, the COP26 Climate Change conference saw world leaders making historic commitments and pledges to cut carbon emissions and limit global warming. New technologies will be essential in making these pledges become reality, which reflects why the number of GreenTech influencers in this year’s ranking increased across all three countries. Growth in the UK was 160% and in Germany 47%. In France, GreenTech influencers have increased from only 2% of the total to 6.4%.
Our next key takeaway concerns Covid-19. Last year, the pandemic significantly reshaped the influencer landscape, and its impact can still be seen in this year’s report. The successful development and rollout of new vaccines (as well as the unfortunate emergence of newer and potentially deadlier variants of the virus) has meant that epidemiologists, immunologists and many other health experts have become vital in helping us all to explain and understand Covid-19.
As a result, the influence of people involved in biotechnology and HealthTech have risen dramatically. People such as Kate Bingham (former head of the UK vaccine taskforce), Chris Whitty (England’s chief medical officer) and Özlem Türeci (co-founder of BioNTech, which developed the first approved Covid-19 vaccine) have become some of the most influential figures of the past year. Furthermore, the number of BioTech influencers in the pan-European Tech 500 list has grown by 69% and the volume of HealthTech influencers has increased by 35%. In 2021, one in 10 influencers in the Top 500 list across the UK, Germany and France belongs to one of these two sectors.
Similarly, as a result of the pandemic, the influence of politicians, government advisors and academics has increased. People sought out expert opinions to understand the virus, as well as what impact lifting Covid-related restrictions would have on case numbers. As such, the number of influencers in our ranking from the academic sector has grown by 74.4% and those from the governmental sector by 57.1%. In fact, most of the top positions in the pan-European ranking are occupied by government or academic influencers: 30% of the top 100 and 52% of the top 25 belong to one of these two groups.
One final takeaway is perhaps more concerning, as we discovered a low representation of influential women in the European tech sector. Only one in five of the pan-European top 500 influencers are women (22%). France is the least diverse country with the lowest percentage of women in the Tech 500 (11.1% of all the French influencers), Germany is below average (19.2%), while the UK is above average with the highest proportion of women in the overall top 500 list across the three countries (24.2%).
Unfortunately, this reflects the wider gender imbalance that exists in the technology sector. This gender disparity is widely reported and it’s something Tyto is seeking to help address through the Tyto Foundation and our work with the Tech Talent Charter. Hopefully, we will see greater female representation in next year’s report.
To read about these trends in more detail, and to find out what else we discovered about Europe’s tech influencer landscape, download the full report today. You will also find the ranking of the top 100 most influential individuals across all three countries and the list of the top 100 tech influencers in each country.
Zoë Clark, senior partner and Head of Media and Influence at Tyto