For a Deep Tech Month special, our friends at ADLIB have been doing a deep dive into the deep tech talent we currently have in the South West, providing us with an overview of the sector and what skills are in the highest demand.

Take a look at their Deep Tech Sector Talent and Skills Overview, specifically for the South West, based on ADLIB internal data and knowledge.

Sector overview

The Bristol region hosts more than 10,000 technology companies and an internationally renowned and mature tech ecosystem. Deep Tech growth is being driven by emerging clusters in AI, robotics, biotech, VR, healthtech, greentech, drug discovery, advanced manufacturing and quantum computing. These areas are springing out of the city’s many incubators and university research projects across the Technology, Science & Engineering sectors.

Scale-ups have access to a wide variety of growth capital sources in the South West including angel groups and venture capital trusts. The regions history of pioneering development in aerospace, cloud computing, engineering and technology have come together to make the Bristol region incredibly attractive for start-ups, investors and engineers to take their ideas from inception and build new products and businesses. 

This combination of traditional engineering, technology and scientific success, combined with the continuous supply of new graduates and post-graduates coming to market and Bristol’s general community feel, inclusivity, green credentials and culture make it a very attractive place to both live and start a Deep Tech business.

Deep Tech Talent overview

Bristol’s talent market continues to flourish thanks to the concentration of high-quality education establishments,  an ever-growing intake of relocators seeking a better quality of life and a vast number of tech engineering & science meetup communities, and this is no exception fro the deep tech talent scene. With the move towards greater remote working, the pool of talent is deepening and the area benefits from a vast contractor network. Local developer and training academies and initiatives that bring cross-trainers and juniors through are gathering pace to support demand.

Deep Tech Skills in demand

Skills covering the main areas of Deep Tech are the most in demand such as AI, Automation, Software Engineering (JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Scala/Clojure, Java, C#.Net), DevOps, Data Engineering, Machine Learning, Systems Engineering, Electronics design, Advanced Materials Science,  Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Research & Development.

Increasingly there is more demand for rounded technical staff with strong client-facing, stakeholder management and leadership/mentoring skills than before.

Deep Tech Skills Gaps

Most Deep Tech firms need Software Engineers, these skills are very much present in Bristol, but in very high demand currently. Particularly Front-End and DevOps skills are hugely in demand and employers need to move very quickly working with specialist agencies to secure the best talent out there.

The other areas of Deep Tech have similar skills gaps, and whilst Bristol is a great place for these sorts of skills, like any other geography, these skills are in high demand and are in fairly short supply given their specialisms. Areas that are highly competitive when it comes to finding new staff include advanced machine learning & deep learning for Computer Vision and NLP specialists, Computational Biologists within the drug discovery side of the market and Data Engineering specialists to take all of this advanced programming and deploy it into production.

Deep Tech firms have a great hook for these hard to find candidates, given they are on the bleeding edge of technology advancement, but they also need to be able to compete with the thousands of other tech firms, who are may be more advanced when it comes to flexible working, benefits packages, high end offices and great cultures already established.

For more of ADLIB’s expertise, check out their tech talent and skills predictions for 2021 here!

Main Image Credit: Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.