The UK IT sector has welcomed the Government’s new industrial strategy, but has stated that the strategy should have been introduced much earlier.
KPMG Head of Tech Sector Tudor Aw is happy that the Government is focusing on artificial intelligence, robotics, 5G and smart energy as part of its industrial strategy. He said that it was a start, and hopefully in the future, the UK would witness other disruptive technologies such as IoT, nanotechnology and self-driving vehicles.
Prime Minister Theresa May has already announced that the Government will be establishing an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that will look to gain advantage from the already existing expertise in the country.
The fund is part of a £4.7 billion boost that research and development funding has received. It will concentrate on establishing new avenues for technologies, and this will benefit those IT contractors and companies that are looking for funding to innovate and commercialise new and disruptive technologies. The focus is on technologies that can help the UK become a leader in the industrial world. The funding could support technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and 5G.
The Government has already opened consultation with individuals and businesses. They have until mid-April to let the Government know which technologies should receive funding.
ADYOULIKE Founder Francis Turner believes that the path that the Government has taken is the right one since businesses and individuals use technologies and not the state. He said that the majority of the innovation will come from entrepreneurs and staff working in companies. Therefore, getting funding to develop new technologies should be welcomed.
The UK IT sector has also welcomed the Government’s initiative to bridge the skills gap and tech know-how. The Government will be setting up specialist institutes for maths and technology.
Aw stated that if the UK wants to be a successful tech hub, it needs to ensure that its workforce has the skills in STEM subjects. Therefore, the Government’s investment in specialist institutes to upskill professionals seems promising.
Some experts believe that since it will take some time to bridge the skills gap, the Government should change its immigration policy to allow overseas skilled professionals to stay and work in the UK.