The UK government's Innovation UK agency is investing almost £1m in two new programmes to help 20 UK companies begin developing hardware to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Two named companies spearheading the initiative, and presumably receiving a goodly amount of the bounty, are Startupbootcamp, which oversees accelerator programmes globally, and advertising company R/GA Media Group.
The programme as a whole is being called IoTUK and aims to boost economic growth, according to a Gov.uk news post.
"IoTUK aims to help business and the public sector develop IoT capability, particularly in areas such as security and trust, data interoperability, investment justification and design development," said the post.
Matthew Hancock, minister of state for culture and the digital economy, added: "Government investment in the IoTUK programme is helping develop the next generation of technology that will power our economy and transform people's lives.
"This latest funding boost will help companies bring their fledgling IoT ideas to market and take advantage of emerging global opportunities."
R/FA Media Group and Startupbootcamp are said to be on board to provide access to their expertise and to finance and business support services to "help businesses bridge the gap between development of a prototype and market viability".
The Raspberry Pi, a UK-designed and formerly manufactured mini-computer, has been a pioneering IoT device across the global technology landscape. Leeds-based Premier Farnell, the largest maker of Raspberry Pi hardware in the world, was sold to Swiss firm Dätwyler in June 2016 for £615m.
IDC's 2015 prediction that the IoT will be worth $1.7tn in 2020 still holds true, and it could be argued that the UK government's pledge of just £1m, compared with, say, the US government's $8.8bn in 2015, could be seen as merely paying lip service to a hardware movement that shows no sign of slowing down.
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