The government has announced that the £42m Alan Turing Centre that will focus on big data and algorithm research will be based in London, within the same area as the British Library, referred to as the 'Knowledge Quarter'.
The centre was first announced in the 2014 Budget in March as part of an effort to ensure the UK becomes a world leader in these areas. In Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne revealed that the government has chosen London as the centre's home.
“The government can also confirm the final details of several further facilities: the £42m Alan Turing Centre, which will undertake new research into ways of collecting, organising and analysing big data, is to be located in London.”
Universities have also been invited to take part in the creation of the centre, and must commit to spending £5m towards the centre until at least 2020. Over 20 universities have applied to be part of the Centre so far, the government said.
Broadband funding boost
The government also announced in its Autumn Statement that it would be extending its Superfast Cities voucher scheme to allow SMEs to cover the cost of moving to high-speed broadband connections.
“Over 5,000 SMEs across 22 cities have benefited from the government’s connection voucher scheme, with new broadband connections on average six times faster than before,” it said.
“In order for more businesses to benefit, the government is allocating up to £40m to extend the scheme to March 2016 and to more cities.”
This funding was welcomed by Mike Smith, director of SMB, at Virgin Media Business: “All champions of small businesses were hoping that the chancellor would include measures in the Autumn Statement to further support these crucial drivers of innovation and economic growth.
“Technology can transform small businesses, and high-speed broadband is crucial for SMEs who want to prosper in our economy.”
In his Autumn Statement, Osborne also promised that the government would ensure big corporations, including tech giants such as Google, pay their fair share of tax.
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