Budget 2015 George Osborne pledges £140m.
Budget 2015: George Osborne pledges £140m to develop Internet of Things, smart cities and driverless cars.
The government will pledge funds to develop applications for the Internet of Things and smart cities, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced as part of the Budget.
The funding forms part of what the Treasury describes in the Budget document as “strategic science and innovation investments to make the UK a global leader in emerging markets and technologies”.
A total of £40m will be set aside for “for demonstrator programmes, business incubator space and a research hub to develop applications for Internet of Things technologies in healthcare and social care, and Smart Cities,” Osborne said.
Prime Minister David Cameron has previously pledged £45m to help develop the Internet of Things.
According to the Budget document, “smart city technology could prove transformative, as well as providing significant opportunities for supporting jobs and growth”.
The Treasury goes on to state that “to ensure that the UK can take advantage of this technology local areas will need to be empowered to make decisions, and collaborations will need to be built between cities, universities and business”.
As a result, the government has pledged the £40m to “support a competition to fund a smart cities demonstrator as part of the Internet of Things programme to trial and showcase these new technologies”.
The government also plans to invest £100m in what it calls “intelligent mobility”, which will “focus on enhancing the development of driverless car technology and the wider systems required to implement and adopt the technology – such as telecommunications”.
Julian David, CEO of Tech UK, welcomed the investment in technology announced as part of Osborne’s final Budget before the general election.
“The UK is well placed to be a global leader in the development of the Internet of Things and the announcement of the £40m investment will help accelerate the development of new innovative solutions for health, social care and smart cities,” he said.
Simon Segars, CEO of chip designer ARM, also welcomed the investment.
“We need to work out how we bring different technologies together in a way that delivers aggregated benefits as this is what drives the IoT and smart city deployments,” he said.
“Through these projects the UK can prove in a cost-effective way what others are still theorising about,” Segars continued.
“This will lead to new technologies and expertise that UK companies can export around the world to help guide businesses and cities onto a far more sustainable path,” he added.
Mark Brown, executive director of cyber security and resilience at EY, also welcomed investment from the Treasury, but warned that the security risks surrounding connected devices must be planned for.
“The interconnectivity of people, devices and organisations in today’s digital world opens up many exiting new opportunities and the ability to create efficiencies across key areas such as health and social care,” he said.
“However, there remains a whole new playing field of vulnerabilities as traditional organisational perimeters erode and existing security defences come under increasing pressure, requiring a rethink in how organisations approach cyber security,” Brown continued.
“Therefore it is imperative that the funding allocated by the government not only supports the opportunities posed by the IoT but addresses the inevitable risks it also brings,” he added.