October 31, 2018

In his Autumn Budget for 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond set out a vision for an economy driven by research and innovation, announcing £1.6 billion of new funding to support the Industrial Strategy, including support for quantum computing and nuclear fusion. The UK Government’s commitment to the Strength in Places Fund was also confirmed with an additional £120 million investment.

Building on the government’s recently announced £1 billion AI sector deal, up to £50 million will be invested in new Turing AI Fellowships to attract world leading research talent in AI to the UK, and £100 million in an international fellowship scheme.

The Chancellor emphasised the importance of investing in regions to meet the UK’s productivity challenge and referenced technological innovation throughout his speech.

GW4 Director, Dr Sarah Perkins, says: “We are delighted to see further investment in the Industrial Strategy to strengthen the UK’s global leadership in science and innovation, support for global research talent and a commitment to regional based innovation, building on the Strength in Places Fund. It is vital that world-class research, productivity and innovation are at the heart of the UK Government agenda.

“We are pleased the Chancellor recognised universities and research institutes as key to delivering a new wave of scientific and technology discovery. The GW4 Alliance brings together four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the UK: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. Together we develop collaborative research communities and innovative research at scale which address major global and industrial challenges, from harnessing quantum technology to exploring artificial intelligence.

“We welcome the additional funding to support the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges, including announcements for Made Smarter and the Stephenson Challenge and are excited by the opportunities these present GW4 to build on our regional strengths. We would urge the Government to continue to recognise the distinct strengths of our region and support the opportunities for investment as outlined in the Science and Innovation Audit.”