Government outlines £4.7bn post-Brexit support for UK tech sector

Theresa May has outlined plans to support smart energy, robotics, IoT, 5G and biotech in a post-Brexit Britain.

The government confirmed £4.7 billion of funding for the research and development of future technologies such as smart energy, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G networks as a part of a wider industrial strategy for the UK.

Other areas of focus include digital and STEM education, business support, clean energy and digital infrastructure. The government also wants to become leaders in areas like electric vehicles, biotech and quantum tech.

The Industrial Strategy is a vital part of the Plan for Britain set out by the Prime Minister last week.

May said: “The modern Industrial Strategy will back Britain for the long-term: creating the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and backing them to invest in the long-term future of our country.

“It will be underpinned by a new approach to government, not just stepping back but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success.”


Every sector is a tech sector

Responding to the Government’s announcement, techUK’s Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said: “In today’s economy, the tech sector is driving innovation and boosting productivity across all industries. In tomorrow’s economy, every sector will be a tech sector. That is why the Government is spot on to place investment in tech at the heart of its modern Industrial Strategy. The “industries of the future” will be tech enabled and tech driven – digital transformation is the future.

“The Prime Minister has said a Global Britain must be ‘the best place for science and innovation’. As the vehicle for delivering the UK’s post-Brexit economy, the Industrial Strategy is shrewd to stimulate technologies – like smart energy; robotics and artificial intelligence; and 5G – where the UK has existing strengths. Similarly, the early work on industrial digitalisation, led by Juergen Maier, shows the Government has clearly received techUK’s message that a Modern Industrial Strategy is about enhancing the UK’s capacity to drive digital transformation across all sectors.

“The recognition that the Industrial Strategy is a process rather than a rigid, one off announcement that lacks the flexibility for meaningful policymaking also underlines the Government’s modern approach – a collaborative and iterative Industrial Strategy must lie at the heart of a truly Global Britain. Tech is the paradigm of a modern industrial sector and we will continue to work closely with Government to create the Industrial Strategy for a tech-enabled 21st century economy.”

Related reading