Headline NewsCash promised for tech initiatives in Autumn Statement

Cash promised for tech initiatives in Autumn Statement

Chancellor pledges support for tech sector in Autumn Statement

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond has announced a number of tech focused initiatives in his Autumn Statement.

Perhaps the biggest announcement made surrounded £400m that will be made available to “innovative small businesses” through venture capital funds to help start-ups stay and grow in Britain.

“I am taking a first step to tackle the long-standing problem of our fastest growing technology firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale,” said Hammond.

“[This will be achieved] by injecting an additional £400m into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank, unlocking £1bn of new finance for growing firms.”

 

Further announcements

Meanwhile, the Department for International Trade (DIT) will provide £500,000 a year for fintech specialists and plans were revealed for £390m to be invested in future transport technology. That sum includes a £100m investment in “testing infrastructure for driverless cars”. He added that £450m would go on trailing “digital signaling on our railways”.

The chancellor also reconfirmed prime minister Theresa May’s recent promise that the government would pump £2bn a year into research and development (R&D) by 2021.

He also announced a £23bn national productivity investment fund, which will be spent on innovation and infrastructure in sectors such as housing, transport, digital communications and research over the next five years.

 

Generally positive

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Charlotte Holloway, policy director at techUK, stated: “A Match-fit Britain must be a Tech-fit Britain, and today the Chancellor gives UK tech a series of welcome announcements. The Chancellor’s focus on backing tech and unleashing a new wave of productivity is exactly the vision needed for an uncertain period ahead.

“Investment in innovation is absolutely critical for driving tech-led growth and productivity, and it’s great to see the £2bn extra investment in R&D for new technologies by 2021 and a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund to give a focal point to the level of the UK’s national ambition. Similarly, £1bn to boost the UK’s leadership in 5G and fibre networks can help ensure the UK connectivity credentials shift from good to great, aided by a welcome rates relief for new fibre network rollout.

“Government has rightly taken action to mediate uncertainty arising on the European Investment Fund for start-ups and venture capital, by allocating £400m into British Business Bank specifically for UK scaling tech companies.

“Building on the UK’s competitive edge in science and tech, plans to invest £100m to develop autonomous vehicles, as well as greater support for UK fintech abroad, will help play to UK strengths and reputation internationally.

“However, there was a real gap when it came to additional support for boosting the UK’s digital skills. Similarly, there was a missed opportunity to ensure that the benefits of digital are at the heart of the Government’s devolution ambitions. We will be looking to the Government to reconsider these areas in the next Budget.”

Related Articles

Search is on to find Female Leaders in GovTech

Digital Transformation Search is on to find Female Leaders in GovTech

2m Austin Clark
City Corporation and Agilisys offer digital skills to inner city London boroughs

Digital Skills City Corporation and Agilisys offer digital skills to inner city London boroughs

4m Austin Clark
Year in review: The top digital government stories of 2017

Government Technology Year in review: The top digital government stories of 2017

7m Austin Clark
Existing processes are preventing digital adoption, survey reveals

Digital Customer Service Existing processes are preventing digital adoption, survey reveals

1y Austin Clark
Budget 2017: The key talking points at a glance

5G & Mobile Budget 2017: The key talking points at a glance

1y Austin Clark
Government finally publishes its Digital Transformation Strategy

Headline News Government finally publishes its Digital Transformation Strategy

1y Austin Clark
London NHS trust using Google AI tech to treat patients

Digital Transformation London NHS trust using Google AI tech to treat patients

2y Austin Clark
LocalGov Digital invites views on co-operative move

Headline News LocalGov Digital invites views on co-operative move

2y Austin Clark