She indicated that part of the proposed £4.7bn investment in research and development to underpin her industrial plans, which are designed to strengthen the UK economy through greater self-sufficiency, post-Brexit, would be targeted at emerging technology areas such as robotics and AI.
Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, chair of the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network believes that investing in science, research and innovation is vital to the economic growth and global position of the UK.
Yang said that research into areas like robotics and AI is important because it will drive innovation in other sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, transport, aerospace, oil and gas.
“The UK has significant strengths in many of these areas, and accelerating development in these key sectors will ensure that the UK leads not only in terms of scientific advances, but also in commercialisation,” said Yang.
Yang said that the EPSRC UK-RAS network will work with the government and this can result in “world-leading research in robotics and AI, develop skills, support business, and create a vibrant eco-system that will boost UK industry and its international competitiveness.”
Tudor Aw, head of tech sector at KPMG UK, also welcomes the new focus on areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Smart Energy and 5G as part of the Government’s approach.
“The hope is that this is just the start and we will see other future disruptive technologies such as Nano technology, autonomous vehicles and IoT/’Connected everything’ get similar focus and funding,” said Aw.