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July 14, 2015

UK digital skills gap targeted by £45m investment

Investment will see the creation of six research centres around the UK.

By James Nunns

The UK’s digital economy is getting a £45 million boost in investment as part of the Government’s Summer Budget.

Funding will be given to six new multidisciplinary research centres that will total £45 million. The goal is to drive forward research, knowledge and skills in order to boost the digital economy.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will provide £23m investment that will help to support the centres over the next five years. The £22 million will come from other UK bodies.

Jo Johnson, Universities and Science Minister, said: "These Centres will lead the way in developing innovative digital products which enhance our daily lives – from personalised digital health services to the use of interactive media in education."

Some of the areas that the centres will focus upon include improving motion capture technology, refining the ethical use of personal data and designing technology for interactive media. There will also be a focus on cybersecurity.

Criticism has been aimed at the Government for the lack of a technology strategy to address the skills gap and digital infrastructure.

The centres will be hosted by the Universities of York, Bath, Nottingham, Swansea, UCL and Newcastle.

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