Government pumps £80 million into UK innovation


The government this week announced plans to invest more than 80 million to encourage greater development of innovative technology in the UK.

In addition to a 82.5 million funding injection into the cause by the Technology Strategy Board, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Lord Mandelson used yesterday's Innovate09 conference to call on businesses to continue to be innovative even during the downturn.

"In difficult times it's crucial that we capitalise on economic opportunities and invest in our future. That's why the Technology Strategy Board prioritises investments in expertise and technologies that offer prospects for growth or address major challenges," Lord Mandelson said in a statement.

"Between now and next spring, businesses across the UK will be invited to compete for 39.5m of government funding for R&D in fields such as regenerative medicine, transport and logistics, agriculture, infectious diseases and low carbon housing. Driving innovation in these areas where the UK has strength and competitive advantage, will speed our recovery and help deliver a strong economy coming out of the global downturn."

In addition, the board plans to invest up to 50 million in the creation and management of a new 'Innovation Platform' for sustainable agriculture and food. The aim is to unite businesses, academia and government to tackle challenges in this area. This funding will be complemented by efforts by Defra and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

"This year we are placing particular emphasis on innovation in the critical areas of energy, low carbon technologies, life sciences and the digital economy, chairman of the Technology Strategy Board, Dr Graham Spittle, added in a statement.

"As part of our thinking we have also been working with business to develop forward-looking innovation strategies for many key sectors. Five of these strategies are being published for the first time today - looking at nanoscale technologies, medicines and healthcare, biosciences , resource efficiency and emerging technologies. We are looking forward to working with business to realise the growth opportunities which these reviews have identified."

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Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.