Government announces £200 million tech centre fund


The UK Government will invest more than 200 million over the next four years in a network of technology and innovation centres.

The centres will support businesses in developing new technologies and in taking them to market.

Each one will focus on a specific technology deemed to have the potential for a large global market, and in where the UK is a specialist.

Entrepreneur and founder of Acorn Computers, Hermann Hauser, has advised the Government on what areas have potential, including plastic electronics, regenerative medicine and high value manufacturing.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans in a speech to the CBI today, explaining that the centres will bridge the gap between universities and businesses.

"They won't just carry out their own in-house research, they will spread knowledge too, connecting businesses large and small, new and old to potential new technologies, making them aware of funding streams and providing access to skills and equipment," Cameron said.

"These centres will be great for research, great for business and they're going to put Britain back at the top table for innovation."

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will oversee the network, although individual centres will be given a fair degree of autonomy.

The TSB will decide which centres will be invested in by April 2011, before considering if new facilities are needed.

"High-tech industries are the future of the British economy. Growing sectors that exploit these new and emerging technologies will help re-balance the economy and provide the highly skilled, well-paid jobs we need," added business secretary Vince Cable.

"Thanks to this major investment, British companies will be at the forefront of innovation."

The announcement comes less than a week after the Comprehensive Spending Review, where the Government announced 900 million funding to tackle fraud and tax evasion with technology.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.