New support for UK tech sector: Patient Capital Fund, start-up visa route and AI accelerator for Scotland

Industry News | 14.06.2018

New support for UK tech sector: Patient Capital Fund, start-up visa route and AI accelerator for Scotland

New support for UK tech sector: Patient Capital Fund, start-up visa route and AI accelerator for Scotland

The UK Government has this week used London Tech Week as a platform to announce a number of steps to support the continued growth of Britain’s digital technologies sector.

Here an overview of this week’s key announcements that will be of interest to Scotland’s digital tech businesses:

AI and Blockchain accelerator for Scotland

The Prime Minister has announced the launch of an Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Accelerator in Scotland that will welcome 20 start-ups per year. The accelerator will be set up by Wayra UK, Telefonica’s open innovation platform, and the University of Edinburgh, supported by Scottish Enterprise. The accelerator will be based in Edinburgh University’s Bayes Centre and is due to launch in September. More information: https://www.scotlandis.com/news/2018/june/may-unveils-ai-accelerator-for-scottish-tech-startups/

£2.5 billion Patient Capital Programme

The British Business Bank is launching a new £2.5bn programme designed to enable long-term investment in high growth potential companies across the UK. This aims to address the lack of venture capital in the UK which has been a concern in our industry for a while. The programme will invest alongside the private sector and thus unlock £7.5bn in total. More information: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/2-5bn-british-patient-capital-programme-launched-enable-long-term-investment-innovative-companies-across-uk/

New visa route for entrepreneurs

A new visa will be opened up to make it quicker and easier for talented entrepreneurs from non-EU countries to come to the UK. This was developed following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee and feedback from the tech sector and aims to bring more top talent to the UK to create start-ups, jobs and economic growth. The route will be launched in Spring 2019 and applicants will need endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor (e.g. accelerator). More information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-start-up-visa-route-announced-by-the-home-secretary

Boosting UK’s data capability

A host of new measures to support data-driven innovation have been announced, including an AI masters programme developed with a number of industry partners, £350,000 to help Internet of Things innovators through the Digital Catapult, the development of a National Data Strategy and a consultation on a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. Key parts of the Ordnance Survey’s valuable geospatial data will also be made available to small businesses for free to develop new products and services. More information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/huge-boost-to-uks-data-capability-as-big-business-backs-world-first-ai-talent-scheme-and-chair-of-data-ethics-and-innovation-centre-is-confirmed

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