UK Budget to include major tech funding

Tomorrow’s Budget is set to include major funding for a number of technology sectors. Chancellor Phillip Hammond is reportedly set to announce funding for artificial intelligence, 5G, digital skills and driverless cars. The government is also reportedly set to announce funding for more computer science teachers to encourage growth within schools.

The Budget will reportedly promise £75 million funding for AI, including up to £45 million to build AI capability and knowledge by increasing the number of AI PhD students to 200 a year.

Hammond will also reportedly announce £160million to launch a nationwide next-generation 5G mobile network. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will receive a large wad of that cash to ensure the networks work safely and securely. This follows on from the government’s existing £25m funding pot to develop and test 5G mobile network technology to help cement the country’s position as a leader in 5G, which was announced in October.

The budget will also include £100million to train 8,000 more computer science teachers and create a new National Centre for Computing to ‘ensure the next generation is equipped with the skills they need to thrive in the modern world of work’, according to Treasury sources. She said: “Our digital tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries, and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country.

“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. Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future.

She added: “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. That means Government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success.”

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