Cash-strapped UK government finds funds for Artificial Intelligence and tech investments
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May today announced a new £20 million (€22.3 million) fund to help public services use UK expertise in innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI). Investment in the sector is always welcome and who knows, says Jeremy Cowan, it could take Mrs May’s mind off Brexit for a while.
Earlier, the Prime Minister met leading digital entrepreneurs and innovators from across the UK, as she announced a series of measures to support the “continued growth and success” of the country’s tech sector. There was plenty of talk of being world class and of the Government’s “enduring commitment” to this vital industry.
The PM and Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond announced a wide-ranging package of support which includes:
Doubling to 2,000 the number of visas available to the brightest and best talent from around the world, including in digital technology.
An investment of £21 million (€23.4 million) to expand Tech City UK into a nationwide network called Tech Nation, designed to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the country.
A new £20 million fund to help public services take advantage of UK expertise in technologies like Artificial Intelligence.
The launch of a £20 million training programme which will challenge thousands of young people aged 14 to 18 to test their skills against simulated online cyber threats.
Mrs May said: “It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector, which makes such an immense contribution to our economic life and to our society, has the full backing of Government. Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure.
“And as we prepare to leave the European Union, I am clear that Britain will remain open for business,” she added.
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The new funding for Tech Nation will see the organisation expand its hub model to more cities around the country, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Building on the work of existing regional clusters, Tech Nation will support 40,000 entrepreneurs and up to 4,000 start-up companies.
The new ‘GovTech’ challenge fund will encourage UK firms to use technology to solve challenges facing the public sector, while a dedicated new team will act as a front door into Whitehall to connect tech companies to the right parts of Government.
Following months of lobbying by industry bodies and alternative broadband providers frustrated at Openreach‘s slow and patchy broadband roll-out, the government reports that “a new £2 million (€2.23 million) pilot voucher scheme” is also being launched in six areas. This is part of the administration’s pledge to bring “the UK’s fastest and most reliable broadband to homes and businesses across the country”. Local companies will be among those offered vouchers by broadband suppliers to pay for what are described as “gold-standard full-fibre gigabit connections”.
And there are just days left for students to apply for a new apprenticeship and university bursary worth £4,000 (€4,460) a year, being offered by the National Cyber Security […]