Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled his master plan to help the UK's recovering economy to grow over the coming year.
The strategy includes many big moves, such as the creation of a brand new £42m data and algorithm research institute named after Alan Turing and tax breaks for small to medium-sized and new businesses. We've rounded up some key responses from the technology community to the UK government's 2014 budget, which in general have been positive.
Director of Information Security at EY Mark Brown:
"The investment in the Alan Turing Institute is an important development as there is a significant crossover between business intelligence and security analytics.
"A lack of skilled talent is a global issue within the cyber security sector, but it is particularly acute in the UK, where government and companies are fiercely competing to recruit the brightest talent to their teams from a very small pool. Over the past decade, our ability to service both the national and international needs of the IT industry, and particularly the cyber security industry, has declined.
"Therefore, this additional investment provides a real opportunity for the UK to re-establish itself at the forefront of the industry, and address head on the many risks and the growth potential which arise from the new and emerging digital markets in which we now operate."
UK head of digital and analytics at KPMG Alwin Magimay:
"This [The Turing Institute] is really welcome news for the UK. Data scientists are what computer programmers were to the UK economy in the nineties. We as a nation need to industrialise this discipline to ensure that British business can prosper from understanding the potential of the data and turn it into a competitive business advantage.
"The investment of £42m is a powerful signal to businesses, academic institutions and investors to sit up and realise that big data isn't just a term coined by the technology world, but that it presents a real opportunity for UK business to gain value from the abundance of data being created in a digital and connected world."
Screendragon CEO Jan Quant:
"I will happily raise a pint to the Alan Turing big data institute for data and algorithm research, a great cause, a fitting testimony and fantastic encouragement to budding tech entrepreneurs."
CEO at NCC Group Rob Cotton:
"The announcement of the Turing Institute and the £42m support package is a good initiative and if executed correctly should help stimulate cutting-edge technology research and ensure the UK keeps up in the global tech race."
EMC district manager Stuart Nyemecz:
"We applaud the chancellor's announcement of the creation of a big data and algorithm centre, to be named after Alan Turing. It's fantastic that the chancellor has recognised how digital transformation and improved data analytics can be fundamental to the success of the government's drive for innovation and growth in the coming years, across multiple sectors including manufacturing and financial services, reflecting the focus of the budget today.
"We also applaud the drive for a focus on maths, science and engineering subjects outlined by the chancellor, particularly with support for apprentices up to degree level. Students and graduates entering the workplace will drive innovation and growth in the economy in the years to come and opportunities in these sectors are set to transform Britain's delivery of technological innovation, product development and exports."
Taylor Wessing partner Robert Young:
"A decent budget for SMEs and the tech sector in particular. In contrast to recent years, the main focus on tax measures seems to be on the businesses themselves, rather than investors.
We have the increase in the payable research and development tax credit for SMEs from 11 percent to 14.5 percent, which will benefit 10,000 or more businesses claiming those reliefs and an increase in the 100 percent annual capital allowances for investment in equipment from £250,000 to £500,000."
Duncan Higgins of Virgin Media Business:
"Given that Britain's digital economy will be 10 percent of GDP by 2016, it's surprising that there was just one mention of the word ‘technology' and no mention at all of ‘digital' in the chancellor's budget.
"Investment in digital doesn't just boost the IT sector, it boosts Britain – it's how employees work smarter, entrepreneurs find new markets, teachers give their pupils relevant skills for the future and doctors save more lives by sharing information more efficiently."
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