Government Publishes Industrial Strategy White Paper

The Government published its Industrial Strategy White Paper on Monday 27th November. While broad and far-reaching, it also refers to 4 Grand Challenges, one of which is to “put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution”. This Challenge has the opportunity to include drones and drone operations as in the current Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Further details from the White Paper, which may be of interest, are summarised below.

PM foreword: “[Industrial Strategy] identifies the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and works to create a partnership between government and industry to nurture them. In doing so, it will help propel Britain to global leadership of the industries of the future – from artificial intelligence and big data to clean energy and self-driving vehicles.”

Greg Clark foreword: “Powered by new technologies, the way we live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers is being transformed across the world.”

Future sectors mentions

  • P. 36 AI Grand Challenge – reference to Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF)
  • P. 48-51 Future of Mobility
  • P. 199 AI Sector Deal
  • P. 204 Industrial Digitisation as possible sector deal
  • P. 209 Guidance on what constitutes a good sector deal
  • P. 212-3 Future Sectors (reference to RAS and drones)

Specific announcements relevant to Future Sectors

  • £75m  for AI, including globally pioneering action to establish a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, and facilitate data access through Data Trusts, as well as 450 PhDs over three years, a new fellowship programme.
  • £21m over 4 years to expand Tech City UK into Tech Nation with dedicated programmes on AI and FinTech, and presence across the country
  • £20m for a Next Generation Services: AI and Data ISCF project – targeted at increasing uptake of AI and data-driven technologies in the services sector.
  • New Future Sectors team to drive sector deals and sector reviews in the areas of most potential for UK future growth.

Wider programmes supporting tech

  • £30m for innovative AI and EdTech digital skills solutions.
  • £10m Regulators’ Pioneer Fund – to support regulatory innovation in products and services.
  • £20m GovTech Fund supported by a Catalyst team, to enable government to make better use of the solutions that small businesses in the tech sector can offer to deliver impact and efficiency, and stimulate the UK’s growing GovTech sector.
  • £84m to train 8,000 teachers in Computer Science.
  • Additional £406 million for maths and technical education
  • Doubling number of Tech Visas to 2,000.

Supportive funding policies

  • Additional £2.4bn of R&D spending, to support ambition of growing R&D spend across public and private sector to 2.4% of GDP
  • Increase in the rate of the R&D tax credit for large companies from 11 to 12% from January 2018 (SMEs have greater allowances).
  • New £2.5 billion Investment Fund incubated in the British Business Bank
  • Doubling the annual allowance for people investing in knowledge-intensive companies through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the annual investment those companies can receive through EIS and the Venture Capital Trust schemes
  • Unlocking at least £1.5 billion of new investment by backing new and emerging fund managers through the British Business Bank’s established Enterprise Capital Fund programme.