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June 23, 2017

UK Government provides £4.7bn boost to AI & Aerospace development

The UK Government is providing £4.7 billion to areas such as Artificial Intelligence and biotech as part of its major Industrial Strategy Challenge fund.

By Parisa Qurban

The UK Government is providing £4.7 billion to areas such as Artificial Intelligence and biotech as part of its major Industrial Strategy Challenge fund.

This comes with great ambitions to support research and development of business and technology industries within the UK, over the next four years.

As part of the industrial strategy manifesto, the expenditure will focus on strengthening research within global and commercial businesses. 

The money is expected to be spent across key industrial areas such as manufacturing, aerospace, and AI industries.

The intention is to improve UK manufacturing companies, so that they can provide material and resources for future sustainable projects.

So far £93m has been spent on developing robotic systems that are capable of surviving in extreme environments. Technology such as this could be applied to fields such as offshore energy, space exploration, and deep mining.

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A current example of this use includes the Bristol based OC Robotics company developing intelligent machine systems for use in nuclear and aerospace industries. This includes training AI to increase its capabilities, and generating machine learning algorithms to identify features of interest.

The government will also be investing £38 million in new collaborative research and development projects. This will support manufacturing advancements in vehicles and automation.

Funding in this area will assist in the creation of AI systems that can be used as control systems for driverless cars.

Another major cut of the financing includes £26M being given for research and development programmes to launch space industry technologies. A satellite test facility will be established to support the UK’s civil aerospace industry, a sector which employs over 230,000 people.

With strong initiatives for the UK to become an international leader in technology and global markets, the funding provides opportunities to meet necessary requirements to facilitate new means of research and manufacturing.

According to the 2017 green paper consultation ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ by Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, he said (always said never claims, stick with said): “As part of our Plan for Britain this Government wants to create a modern industrial strategy to support the key sectors of our economy and spread jobs, prosperity and opportunity around the whole country.

“The UK is home to some of the world’s best innovators at the very forefront of global excellence. The funding I am announcing today, providing hundreds of millions of pounds of support to develop the next generation of technologies across a range of sectors, shows our determination and commitment to making sure the UK remains at the very forefront of research innovation for years to come’’

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