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UK Strengthens Support for AI: £100m Investment Included in Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget

Last Updated March 7, 2024 7:46 PM
Samantha Dunn
Last Updated March 7, 2024 7:46 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Jeremy Hunt pledges support for the AI industry in the UK.
  • The Spring Budget includes plans to double existing investment into the Alan Turing Institute.
  • Improving data protection and security is a key focus for the UK.

The UK Chancellor’s spring budge t was announced on Wednesday. The budget key focuses on leveraging technology for economic growth.

Yesterday’s budget included plans to “unleash innovation to drive economic growth and prosperity”  by supporting AI innovation in the UK with an investment of £100 million.

Ambitious AI Plans in the Spring Budget

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, presented the new spring budget to parliament, pledging support to tech businesses, as well as supporting the AI industry through several key investments.

A £50 million package over five years aims to provide continued support to the UK’s burgeoning AI industry.

Innovative new pilots to improve nationwide data access whilst placing data protection and security at the center of the UK’s approach.

Security and Defense Challenges

Alongside supporting science and tech businesses through investments of £92 million, the spring budget included the doubling of investment for the government-funded Alan Turing Institute (ATI), the National Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, with a total funding of £100 million.

The Alan Turing Institute , founded in 2015, aims to make the UK a leader in data science and AI research, collaboration, and business.

Since its inception, it has focused on providing solutions to three main challenges: defense and national security, environment and sustainability, and the transformation of health.

Building the Businesses of the Future

Also included in the UK’s AI pledge is a £7.4 million AI business upskilling fund that targets SMEs. The pilot will focus on developing the AI skills of the future for businesses.

In the press release the Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Michelle Donelan said she was “focused on delivering this government’s record level of investment to cement the UK’s place as a Science and Technology Superpower”.

The increase in global AI innovation has led to an AI race between leading tech behemoths. In the UK the AI startup space is also booming, with investment in AI startups including fetch.ai exploding in recent weeks.

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