The role of IT in delivering the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy

IT has an integral part to play in helping deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Our blog explores some of the ways IT sector innovation is contributing to the overall picture and how IT companies can be rewarded with free funding, such as R&D tax.

Published in 2017, the Industrial Strategy white paper sets out the UK Government’s vision for building a Britain that’s fit for the future.

Within the 256-page strategy, there’s much to recognise and much to be achieved, and many issues to address, more specifically the four Grand Challenges that are aimed at:

  • Putting the UK at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence and the data revolution
  • Maximising the advantages for the UK from the global shift to clean growth
  • Enabling the UK to become a world leader in shaping the future of mobility
  • Harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of our ageing society

All four of these challenges are underpinned by innovation, communications, data sharing and technology, including existing and emerging 21st century technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR).

They’re all key components in enabling the UK to embrace today’s digital era and they’re all fuelled by the world of IT which, just like many of the other sectors that exist within the UK, are rapidly evolving.

Sector-wide, IT advancements can be found weaved into the developments that have been achieved to date and many of the upcoming game-changing advancements, most of which feed into the Industrial Strategy.

AI and the data revolution

AI and machine learning are two of the front runner technologies that are already having a big impact, not just on the UK, but the entire global economy.

An offshoot of AI, machine learning is essentially the science of using computers to execute tasks and is the ‘brain’ behind the recommendations that pop up on Amazon or Netflix. AI is being used by organisations to, among many other things, use big data to their advantage. With the ability to gain a deeper insight into the data than ever before, businesses can identify market trends and predict customer behaviour, helping them stay ahead of their markets.

Within the healthcare sector, we’re talking wearable devices and medical sensors; the financial sector, data mining and cyber surveillance; retail sector, algorithms and personalised online shopping suggestions and the transport sector, faster and more efficient routes and more reliable and quicker connectivity solutions.

For more insight on the power of AI and machine learning, check out these details from the Office for Artificial Intelligence.

Clean growth

The aim is for the UK to lead the world in the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies, systems and services that cost less than high carbon alternatives.

The move to cleaner economic growth is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time. And, of course, it wouldn’t be possible to achieve this level of change without creating low carbon technologies that are as efficient as they are innovative.

Data modelling, data science and software engineering are just some of the areas that go hand-in-hand with helping turn the low carbon vision into reality. From developing energy efficient IT systems and smart technology that slots seamlessly into smart city networks, to establishing the IT foundations that are required to enable greater levels of flexible working to take place. These examples, are of course, the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s been achieved and what’s possible.

For more insight, visit The Carbon Trust’s website.

IT’s innovation factor

Grand Challenge number four focuses on the role of innovation in responding to and helping manage the country’s growing older population. But, of course innovation has a major part to play in achieving all four of the objectives, much of which IT has a hand in making happen.

The rise of digital technology, means tech giants, such as the likes of IBM and Accenture, have shifted their focus to upskilling their teams to stay one step ahead of the digital curve.

It’s now widely recognised that in order to get ahead, companies need to innovate fast and implement slicker and faster processes that enable them to be more responsive to customer needs. Software technology is fundamental to making this happen within the current digital landscape and innovation is the answer to having that competitive edge.

Rewarding IT innovation

Developing innovative technologies is time-consuming and costly however, many forward-thinking companies are using government-funded research and development tax relief to overcome these two key issues.

Research and Development tax relief can reimburse up to 33% of funds spent on advancing technology. This enables companies to spend more money on business growth, making them a more attractive investment opportunity in the process.

Are you being rewarded for your innovativeness?

If you’re a forward-thinking IT company that’s coming up with pioneering new systems and ways of working that are specifically contributing towards the Government’s Industrial Strategy or just enabling great innovative things happen, then you could be rewarded financially for it.

Like innovation, research and development plays a massive role in helping business stay competitive. The R&D tax credit scheme empowers innovating businesses, providing funding that allows them to release their next idea or improve their existing solutions.

You could qualify for R&D if you:

Want to be rewarded for the difference you’re making? We’re dedicated to helping IT businesses thrive and grow by accessing free government funding, such as R&D tax credits. With the aim of innovating and growing sectors, research and development tax credit can help you make an even bigger impact on the UK economy and help bring the Government’s Industrial Strategy vision to life.

For more details, speak to a member of our R&D team to find out how we can help.

Get in touch