Following the announcement of the Government’s £40 million plan to improve the Internet of Things (IoT), tech experts have welcomed the news.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed during his 2015 budget announcement that the Government will also invest £140 million in ‘world class’ research on the cities of the future.
According to Cisco, the UK is expected to lead the way with the IoT, which has the potential to generate £33 billion for the UK economy.
Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco, said: “We are experiencing the next generation of the Internet, and the UK is at the vanguard.
“The UK’s culture of invention and partnership – with existing programmes across industry, academia and government – will be greatly catalysed by this announcement, enabling us to truly capture the opportunity and solidify our position as a leading nation in the Internet of Things."
Similarly, analyst Gartner predicts that smart cities will use 1.1 billion connected things by 2015, rising to 9.7 billion by 2020.
Semiconductor supplier ARM has also expressed its interest in George Osborne’s announcement, as it shows ‘the Government is taking the IoT seriously’.
Stephen Pattison VP of public affairs at ARM, told PCR: “ARM welcomes the news on the money for IoT in the budget.
“But the pilot needs to do more than trial the technology. They need to test wider issues, for example acceptability and liability in the provision of remote health care, and secure storage and use of data in smart city applications.”
Samsung is also hoping to focus heavily on the IoT with its range if products, seeing the UK as the best place for innovation in Europe.
Andy Griffiths, president for Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: "The next few years will be a pivotal time for the UK if it wants to take a lead in this competitive space and at Samsung, we are focused on playing our part in driving this technologically advanced, highly connected future; taking steps to ensure the majority (90 per cent) of our devices are part of our ‘Internet of Things’ strategy by 2017.’’
Meanwhile, security software company Kaspersky Lab hopes the Government will start to explore how the Internet of Things is evolving into the ‘Internet of Us’.
Lee Sharrocks, consumer sales director at Kaspersky Lab, added: “This phenomena looks at machine to human connectivity, allowing individuals to control door locks, make purchases and gain access to computer systems with the wave of a hand.”
With 1.46 million people working within the tech industry, Tech City sees this investment as a promising start to create more tech clusters.
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, commented: The Chancellor’s announcement both strengthens London’s reputation as a global tech capital, and the rise of our regional clusters.
“It is vitally important that we continue to foster growth for the digital technology sector across the UK – the lifeblood of our national economic recovery.”
In response to the Chancellor’s speech, the EPSRC and Innovate UK have announced a £5 million investment in UK cyber security research and innovation.
The grant will go towards the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.
Image source: Shutterstock