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18 Mar 2024

Spring Budget puts UK on fast-track to becoming science and technology superpower

Spring Budget puts UK on fast-track to becoming science and technology superpower
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The Spring Budget unveiled an ambitious package of announcements designed to boost the UK’s science and technology sectors, unleashing innovation to drive growth, create jobs, and improve lives.

Charities including Cancer Research UK will receive £45 million to help launch the next generation of medical research careers. The move will assist in the fight against some the biggest global health challenges including diseases such as dementia, cancer, and epilepsy – while making the innovations that will help grow the economy.

The statement also backed science and tech businesses through investments in critical life science manufacturing projects worth £92 million, set to increase health resilience whilst supporting innovation and job creation.

Two major pharmaceutical companies are already investing a combined £84 million in their UK manufacturing sites and will receive an extra cash injection from government. Almac in Northern Ireland produces drugs to treat diseases such as cancer and heart disease whilst Ortho Clinical diagnostics in Pencoed Wales is expanding testing facilities to help identify a range of conditions and diseases.

To ensure the UK remains a provider in AI safety and to support the transition to an AI-enabled economy to fuel growth, funding of the Turing Institute will be boosted to £100 million. This will help cement the institutes leadership in setting research agendas alongside supporting UK business and government’s adoption of AI.

The funding comes on top of the £100 million already invested to establish the UK’s AI Safety Institute – the world’s first state-backed institute dedicated to AI Safety.

Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Michelle Donelan said: “The public and economic benefits technological and scientific innovation can drive are immense. That is why I am focused on delivering this government’s record level of investment to cement the UK’s place as a Science and Technology Superpower.

“Yesterday’s Budget puts us firmly on the path to achieving this goal. Whether channelling technological advances into the public sector or doubling down on our leadership in AI advances and safety, we are unleashing innovation to drive economic growth and prosperity for everyone.”

Among the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology policies announced in the Spring Budget include:

Medical research

Life science manufacturing investment

New investment in the UK’s life sciences sector worth £92 million will help, boost health resilience encourage innovation whilst supporting jobs and growing the economy.

Ortho Clinical diagnostics in Pencoed, Wales and pharmaceutical company Almac based in Norther Ireland are already investing £84 million in their UK sites and will receive a further £7.5 million from government.

This investment will be geared towards Almac’s development of drugs to treat diseases including cancer, heart disease and depression, whilst Ortho Clinical is expanding product testing facilities used to identify a variety of diseases and conditions.

Artificial Intelligence

Alan Turing Institute funding boost

The Chancellor announced the doubling of investment for the Alan Turing Institute (ATI), the body for data science AI, bringing its total funding to £100 million.

The new £50 million package over five-years will build on the ATI’s work to-date to help address national and international challenges in areas such as health, environment and sustainability alongside defence and security.

This significant boost to the UK’s AI ecosystem will drive better value for years to come and boost the Institutes’ ability to provide organisations with the skills, open access infrastructure, and R&I resources alongside training provision.

AI Research Resource

Also announced was the intention to publish a plan later this year setting how government will manage access to the UK’s cutting-edge public AI compute facilities which are critical for AI development. The resources will provide researchers and innovative companies with the compute power needed to use AI for cutting-edge research and development of the most advanced AI products anywhere in the world.

Source: Spring Budget puts UK on fast-track to becoming science and technology superpower - GOV.UK (

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