Chancellor Philip Hammond promises £220 million investment in UK tech sector

Cash will fund healthcare innovation and UK-wide tech scenes

Philip Hammond photo

Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined plans to devolve 220 million in support of tech innovation during yesterday's speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

After praising Britain's creativity and innovation, he said the UK government must "carefully maintain the conditions that have brought this activity to Britain in the first place. Including the ability to attract the brightest and best to work here in our high-tech industries" (transcript from Conservatives.com). 

Out of this 220 million, Hammond said 100 million would be spent to extend the biomedical catalyst, hence funding innovative UK life science companies and innovative medical technologies.

Supporting emerging healthcare technologies could lead to advancements in disease prevention, earlier diagnoses and further specific treatments, the government believes.

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A further 120 million would fund the collaboration between universities and the tech industry over the next four years, in order to ensure that more research at UK universities is transformed into viable business ventures.

A post on the government's website says this tech support package will also include "successful Challenger Business Programmes, to address regulations that pose the largest barriers to the adoption of disruptive technologies".

The scheme aims to help innovative business thrive by removing barriers that prevent them from expanding. For instance, it has led to tax allowances for money earned and exemptions for the space and satellite sector from Insurance Premium Tax.

The post read: "This programme has already helped 400 businesses since launch in 2013 and will now be expanded into new sectors and new businesses."

Hammond also spoke about balancing the inequalities between different UK cities, to "create the conditions for success in the North, the South, and everywhere in between", with a particular focus on the Midlands. 

Picture courtesy of Gareth Milner

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