Insights Government announces £1 billion deal with tech sector to put UK at forefront of AI industry


The Government has announced that more than 50 leading businesses and organisations have contributed to the development of a £1 billion deal, featuring almost £300 million of new private sector investment.

The deal between the Government and industry also includes more than £300 million of newly allocated Government funding for AI research to make the UK a global leader in this technology.

Building on the commitment made in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy and its AI Grand Challenge, the Government says that the deal marks the first phase of a major innovation-focused investment drive in AI which aims to help the UK seize the £232 billion opportunity AI offers the UK economy by 2030 (10% of GDP).

The new deal includes new investments such as:

  • Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain opening its first European HQ in the UK and investing £35 million in UK deep-tech start-ups;
  • the University of Cambridge opening a new £10 million AI supercomputer and making its infrastructure available to businesses;
  • top-ranking Vancouver-based venture capital firm Chrysalix to establish a European HQ in the UK and use it to invest up to £110 million in AI and robotics;
  • the Alan Turing Institute and Rolls-Royce will jointly run research projects exploring: how data science can be applied at scale; the application of AIacross supply chains; data-centric engineering and predictive maintenance; and the role of data analytics and AI in science.

The Government says that the deal will help establish the UK as a research hotspot, with measures to ensure the innovators and tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow are based in the UK, and investment in the high-level post-graduate skills needed to capitalise on technology’s huge potential.

It includes money for training for 8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025 and a commitment to develop a prestigious global Turing Fellowship programme to attract and retain the best research talent in AI to the UK.

The Government will also provide £20 million of funding to help the UK’s service industries, including law and insurance, with new pilot projects to identify how AI can transform and enhance their operations.

The Government has also pledged £21 million of funding to create Tech Nation, a new UK-wide organisation working across the country to create a high-growth tech network for ambitious entrepreneurs. One of Tech Nation’s new goals will be to establish an internationally respected programme for mid-stage AI companies to help bring them to scale.

The deal also establishes a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. The Government says that the £9 million centre will address the challenges posed by the adoption of AI and advise on the measures needed to enable and ensure safe, ethical and innovative uses of data-driven technologies, while helping protect consumers. To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the deal, click here.