Blog: Top news stories: August 2021
Every week we share the top economic, innovation and UK business news to keep you up to date.
Here are some of the best stories from August.
Funding and investment
The Strategic Innovation Fund will be available to network companies, system operators, businesses and researchers to drive “big, bold and ambitious” ideas that accelerate the transition to an emissions-free energy system and help position Britain as a world leader in energy innovation, Ofgem said.
- Britain to invest £5m in climate resilience research
- Siemens Gamesa and GRI Renewables Industries to invest in offshore wind production in England
Sustainability continues to be a hot topic across the world. Elsewhere in the news in August, investors called for action by steelmakers on carbon emissions, a U.N. science report warned global warming is dangerously close to spiraling out of control, and the UK government launched a strategy for low-carbon hydrogen production.
Elsewhere in investment news, Boris Johnson urged British pension fund managers to put more money into long-term investments in infrastructure and unlisted companies.
Manufacturing and trade
- UK car output fell to the lowest July level since 1956 amidst shortages of materials and staff. Aluminum prices were also at a record high
In trade news, Ireland’s imports from Britain fell 32% in the first half of 2021 while EU exports to Britain rose in June. Continued disruption should be expected across the supply chain as we continue to navigate Brexit, although trade talks continue. Negotiations with India are expected to start before the end of the year.
Data protection and patents
Amazon and Google dominated tech news again in August, with several interesting stories to note:
- EU regulators fine Amazon for data protection violations
- U.S. trade judge finds Google infringed five sonos patents
- Amazon palm print recognition raises concern
We think patents and data are two topics to watch closely as we move into a new era of innovation over the next decade or so.
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