UK Government announces $80M in tech initiatives ahead of Brexit

Mrs May said the technology sector had the 'full backing of Government'
Credit
Reuters

The minister said that new hubs in Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow would increase the reach of the country's innovative digital clusters. "That means Government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success".

The 2,000 visas will be made available to individuals recognised as existing global leaders or promising future leaders in digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by any of five endorsing organisations: Tech City UK, Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. "Tech Nation will help transform London and the United Kingdom from a series of standalone tech hubs into a powerful national network that will place the United Kingdom firmly at the top of global tech rankings".

As part of the plans, Tech City UK will give more than 40,000 people the opportunity to develop the skills needed to start or grow a digital business and will offer support for up to 4,000 UK tech businesses through targeted growth programmes. In combining into Tech Nation, the organisation will look to develop the UK's tech sector as a whole, as opposed to looking at specific hubs.

"Under the Tech Nation banner, this country that has brought so much innovation to the world and leads in sub-sectors such as fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics and life sciences, will build a national network of digital excellence so that the United Kingdom will continue to be recognised as one of the best places in the world to start or grow a digital tech business". "As our economy continues to digitise, more and more businesses depend upon tech talent to support their growth".

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More foreign workers could be lured to work for United Kingdom hi-tech firms under plans to double the amount of visas available for "exceptionally" talented migrants.

"For the announcement to be truly valuable, the government must couple it with further flexibility on Tier 2 high skilled talent. This will ensure that conditions for tech talent and global investment become even more attractive at this crucial point in the UK's history".

Now these are both being combined the additional cash being invested to cover Britain's other cities and regions is only around £1.25m a year.

A £2m pilot broadband voucher scheme from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will pay for full-fibre gigabit broadband connections in Aberdeenshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Coventry and Warwickshire, and West Yorkshire.

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