The UK’s 2017 Budget was delivered yesterday and Philip Hammond’s announcement highlighted that Britain was for the first time in decades, at the forefront of a technological revolution.
The 2017 Budget message very much appeared to be focused around the growth of industries and in particular, tech businesses; “We will not build it overnight but in this Budget, today, we will build the foundations … A new tech business is founded in Britain every hour, I want that to be every half hour,” added the chancellor.
Hammond also acknowledged that the government should and will continue to invest in the skills and infrastructure that will support future jobs.
We’ve got a summary of the 5 key announcements from the 2017 Budget that will greatly affect and mould the tech sector, technology jobs and the market as a whole going forward;
Funding of £500m for a range of new initiatives that include AI, 5G and full fibre broadband.
£75m of the £500 fund will be put towards a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation which will work with government, regulators and industry to “lay the foundation for AI adoption” that will hopefully also help with the AI skills shortage the UK is currently suffering. The extra investment will then be put towards connectivity and 5G mobile along with further funding for full-fibre broadband.
£540m towards growth of electric cars.
Electric cars are trailblazing the way for driverless technology and keeping the automotive sector at the forefront of tech and Phillip Hammond announced, “Our future vehicles will be driverless, but they’ll be electric first and that’s a change that needs to come as soon as possible for our planet”.
Help towards pension funds to finance digital businesses.
Access to capital is a key issue for UK’s scaling digital businesses meaning this is a welcome announcement for many businesses as it helps growing tech businesses with long-term finance so they can continue to grow their tech teams.
Creation of a new £2.5bn fund via the British Business Bank
This will also be dedicated to ensuring more fast-growing businesses have access to the capital they need to become top UK unicorn startups and by co-investing with the private sector, a total £7.5bn of investment will be supported.
Regulatory Pioneers Fund to encourage regulatory innovation
The Financial Conduct Authority is renowned for its innovative approach, which has given a huge lift to the financial sector, the aim with the Regulatory Pioneers Fund is to encourage regulators to work creatively with startups, to make sure UK remains the clear leader in digital innovation.
Many of these announcements are long-term goals, but in terms of future productivity for the technology sector its vital that the UK has digitally skilled talent in place so when that all these things come to play and the industry boom happens, Britain will be ready for it!
You can view the full budget announcement here.