The UK government is putting a huge amount of resources into boosting its technology sector, in the hopes of making it a central point of trade after Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £20 million fund (with additional money from the private sector) at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, to launch the Institute of Coding; a way of closing the country's digital skills gap.
Mrs May also used the Forum to pitch the UK as a centre for emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Now, following the Prime Minister's announcement, Innovate UK has announced a £19 million fund that it will invest in health and life sciences, and ‘emerging and enabling' tech like blockchain.
Part of a further £12 million will be made available to companies that hire graduates to develop such projects.
Innovate UK, which is the government's technology development department, has stipulated four areas for technology proposals to focus on:
Emerging technologies like graphene, biofilms and energy harvesting;
Digital technologies, specifically in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, big data, distributed ledgers, internet of things, 5G and virtual and augmented reality;
‘Enabling capabilities', such as robots and autonomous systems; and
Space applications, including satellites and Earth observation.
Projects must include an SME, and could attract up to 70 per cent of their costs. Innovate UK expects projects to range in size from £35,000 to £2 million and run for up to two years.
The competition is open now, and the final deadline is midday on the 28th March.
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