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Key points from Budget 2018

Posted on 30/10/2018

What the Budget means in the world of science, technology and innovation.

Yesterday [Monday 29 October 2018], Philip Hammond delivered his third Budget as Chancellor. The Government is providing an additional £1.6bn for the Industrial Strategy. We have pulled together a summary of the key announcements, relevant to innovators, entrepreneurs and scientific researchers.

£235m additional funding to further develop the quantum technology programme. This includes £35m for the National Quantum Computing Centre and guarantees £70m for quantum from the ISCF fund. This is in addition to the £80m announced earlier to extend funding for the Quantum Hubs, taking the overall new UK National Quantum Technology Programme funding to £315m. This compares with £270m allocated in 2015 for the first 5 years, and demonstrates the government’s confidence in this expanding sector.

To support the government’s Clean Growth Grand Challenge, the Budget announces an additional £20m in 2019-20 for the UK Atomic Energy Agency to accelerate its ground-breaking work on the development and commercialisation of fusion technologies.

Up to £78m for the Stephenson Challenge to support innovation in electric motor technology, making vehicles lighter and more efficient.

Up to £315m investment in the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to support businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future and to cut their bills through increased energy efficiency.

Allocation of £20m for Plastics and to boost recycling. This includes £10m more funding for Plastics R&D.

Up to £121 million for Made Smarter to support the transformation of cross-sector manufacturing with digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things and immersive technologies. Construction, Food and Drink, Pharma and Aerospace are four industries studied to have an estimated £185bn value at stake.

A new £50m per year fund designed to address the most pressing challenges in areas such as public health and cyber security. The fund will focus on joint programmes between government and industry, and will begin in 2021-22.

The UK’s approach to cryptoassets and distributed ledger technologies in financial services will be published in a report, giving businesses clarity on regulations and realise the benefits of these new technologies.

The government will invest an additional £120m through the Strength in Places Fund. This will support clusters of science and innovation excellence across the UK and enable them to further develop their strengths.

And a Future High Streets Fund will invest £675m to support local areas to improve access to high streets and town centres.

Other key points for business include:

  • Extension to the Government’s Start-up loans scheme until 2021
  • Department for International Trade to expand adviser network in Europe to help exporters
  • Government will launch a consultation on how to encourage greater innovation in the utilities sectors.
  • £25m to boost business productivity through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  • £200m ring fenced for British Business Bank for venture capital and growth financing for UK businesses in the event no relationship with European Investment Bank after UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

You can read the Budget in full here.