I think this is true of many countries not just the UK. Looking back at the history of the computer industry and you'll see many companies failed to make it. I am sure that most people for example didn't see the demise of Commodore.
I think the award is well deserved given the massive up take of the technology that Prof Furbur help bring into existence. The ARM processor is without doubt once of the most important technological developments to come out of the British computer industry.