Following the launch of the government’s Modern Industrial Strategy, the announcement of technology sector funding has been met warmly by industry commentators.
KPMG UK head of tech sector Tudor Aw said: “In a post-Brexit era, it is crucial that the UK tech sector is front and centre of the Government’s new industrial policy. I am therefore delighted to see that key areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Smart Energy and 5G have been identified as areas that will underpin the Government’s approach. The hope is that this is just the start and we will see other future disruptive technologies such as nanotechnology, autonomous vehicles and IoT/’Connected everything’ get similar focus and funding.
“As has been long recognised, to be successful in tech, we desperately need to upskill our workforce in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and to see investment in these skills as well as in science, R&D and innovation is hugely promising.”
ADYOULIKE UK managing director Francis Turner believes the onus remains on business to invest in innovation, and not purely rely on government funding.
“The announcement by the government to put significant funding into developing technologies like artificial intelligence is to be welcomed,” he commented. “Technologies such as AI aren’t just the future, they are already here and are making a significant impact on the businesses and industries that are using them.
“For example, there is now an established link between a business’ growth in revenue and how long it has been using AI. Early adopters of AI are seen to experience faster growth than those who have not implemented the technology. The government is right to try to put Britain at the forefront of developing this type of technology which can impact positively upon industry, the economy and also everyday life.”
He added: “However, as the government has already admitted, when launching this strategy their proposed approach mirrors what is already happening in some industries, whereby individual companies and trade bodies are driving cutting edge innovation.
“The vast majority of innovation will come down to the founders and staff of individual companies and from my own experience, government, to date, has done little to nothing to support our own business. However a helping hand from the government, especially in funding the development of technologies such as AI, can only be a good thing and will assist British businesses to compete globally.”