UK unveils new £45M funding for Internet of Things research

GERMANY-IT-TELECOM-INTERNET-BRITAINIt’s one thing when corporates spend big and commercially win through the ‘Internet of Things’ technology. But it means much more when it’s done by governments without an immediate return on the horizon, serving to boost confidence in the industry that they are doing the right thing and are expected to produce meaningful results.

Though not very dramatic compared to some government initiatives, the new £45 million (approx. $75 million) funding unveiled by David Cameron, the PM of the UK, will certainly contribute significantly to the country’s already very dynamic tech startup scene.

In a keynote speech delivered during the opening of CeBIT 2014 this evening in Hanover, Cameron announced an additional £45 million of funding for research in areas linked to the ‘Internet of Things’, taking the total pot available to £73 million. According to an official blog post released today by the PM’s office, Cameron will also unveil new tax breaks for early stage tech startups and investments, as well as for video gaming companies.

The pre-speech release said that the PM urges Germany to cooperate on three specific areas: Developing 5G, investing in the ‘Internet of Things’ and expanding the EU single digital market. The best part of Cameron’s announcement is in relation to the ‘Internet of Things’, where he expounds its bright future.

“These are developments that could allow literally billions of everyday objects to talk to each other over the internet – using low-cost, low-power chips. And this has enormous potential to change our lives” he will say and add: “Electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals. Health monitors that keep an eye on your heart rate. Water pipes that warn of a fall in pressure. I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development – a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, and tackling climate change. We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution and I want us – the UK and Germany – to lead it. Take British ingenuity in software, services and design, add German excellence in engineering and industrial manufacturing and together we can lead in this new revolution.

The details of how the new funds will be released to the companies and researchers will be made available via the UK Trade&Investment office.

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