By Daniel Hunter
Hundreds of new UK jobs have been announced as the UK takes centre stage as official partner country at CeBIT 2014, the world’s largest technology trade fair.
Opening CeBIT 2014 alongside the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Four years ago, we put in place a long-term economic plan to turn our country around — and innovation is right at the heart of that plan.
“It is our ambition to make the UK the most digital nation in the G8 and it is my mission to show the world that we’re getting there.”
Announcements made at CeBIT include:
– Over the coming year the Technology Strategy Board will continue to sponsor innovation in the Internet of Things by committing a further £45 million via a range of its funding tools and programmes, bringing government investment in this area to £73 million. The Internet of Things could allow billions of everyday objects to talk to each other over the internet using low-cost, low-power chips. This includes electricity meters that talk to the grid to get the best deals, health monitors that keep an eye on heart rate and even a fridge that can order milk when it notices it getting low.
– The government is also launching a new European Internet of Things funding competition, designed to support young, early stage companies in the Shoreditch and Cambridge tech clusters. The competition will receive £1 million of funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and run in conjunction with Tech City UK.
– A new research collaboration focused on the industrial and societal impacts which 5G will bring has been announced between the University of Dresden, King’s College University in London and the University of Surrey. With 4G, an 800 megabyte movie takes around 40 seconds to download; with 5G that would be cut to one second.
– Fuelled by an increasing number of devices and uses, mobile broadband usage is expected to increase by 80 times by 2030. The government has published an ambitious strategy that will put the UK at the forefront of the global telecommunications market and contribute an extra £50bn a year to the UK economy. The Spectrum Strategy sets out how the UK will lead the development of 5G mobile technology and double the contribution to the UK economy of spectrum to £100bn by 2025.
– The government has also published an update on work to release 500MHz of public sector spectrum by 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spectrum-strategy
– The UK’s innovation and tech sector is worth £58 billion and employs 1.3 million people. To grow the sector further the government has launched a new commercially focused science and innovation organisation, the UKTI Innovation Gateway. The organisation will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for securing science and innovation investment from large international funds and corporate companies. Over the next two years the organisation is tasked with unlocking £1bn of investment and creating 500 new UK jobs.
– Leading digital medicines company Proteus Digital HealthTM will employ 200 highly skilled individuals at its first international manufacturing site in the UK. The facility will serve as a hub for the global digital medicines industry, transferring significant investment and know-how to the UK.
Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Livingston, is speaking at the event alongside British tech leaders including Joanna Shields, UK Business Ambassador for the Digital Industries and Chairman of Tech City UK and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Open Data Institute who will demo a 3D hologram to underpin the UK’s strength in big data and robotics.
Lord Livingston said:
“Our expertise in the innovation and tech sector is creating growth and jobs for the UK economy. We have the leading market for software and IT services in Europe, the largest network of Wi-Fi hotspots and one of the biggest app markets.
“Our aim is to grow investment in the UK innovation and tech sector and today we are launching a new organisation targeting international businesses that want to take advantage of UK excellence and invest here.”
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