Autumn Budget ups investment in R&D and 5G

The Autumn Budget includes £2.3 billion in additional investment in R&D in 2021-22 from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)

In addition, the chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “A new tech business is founded in Britain every hour, and I want that to be every half hour. So today we invest over £500m in a range of initiatives from Artificial Intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband.”

He also announced that there will be a new Geospatial Data Commission “to develop a strategy for using the government’s location data to support economic growth.”

As far as funding for 5G is concerned, the government will invest a further £160 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) in new 5G infrastructure. The first projects to benefit are:

The government is also launching a new £190 million Challenge Fund that local areas around the country will bid for to encourage faster rollout of full-fibre networks by industry.

It will shortly consult on commercial options to improve mobile communications for rail passengers and will invest up to £35 million to enable trials. This will be used to: upgrade the Network Rail test track in Melton Mowbray; install trackside infrastructure along the Trans-Pennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York; and support the rollout of full-fibre and 5G networks.

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