News story

£50 million to support world-changing technologies

UK business and academia to benefit from Innovate UK's four-year investment plan in emerging technologies and industries.

The Business Secretary, the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, has launched Innovate UK’s £50 million investment in nurturing the very latest, potentially game-changing technologies.

The 4-year Emerging technologies and industries strategy will help UK business and academia to transform ideas into reality in seven areas:

  • synthetic biology

  • energy-efficient computing

  • energy harvesting

  • non-animal technologies

  • emerging imaging technologies

  • graphene

  • quantum technologies

They could all offer world-changing solutions to major global challenges. These might be new drugs, autonomous sensors and ‘hyper-spectral’ cameras for advanced detection systems.

The strategy also highlights how Innovate UK will be identifying and supporting as-yet unknown technologies as they emerge from UK universities.

This plan represents a doubling of Innovate UK investment in emerging technologies over the next four years. All these areas can already boast a world-class research base and/or world class industrial potential within the UK.

Innovate UK’s ambition is to see the UK lead the world in one or more new growth sectors from an emerging technology area. That would mean a sector generating £1 billion in turnover a year.

Iain Gray, chief executive of Innovate UK, said:

Much of Innovate UK’s funding and expertise goes to support business innovation where the commercial opportunities are well understood and the technological challenges known. But it is vital that we also look further ahead, scanning the horizon for the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

With our strong and inventive research base, the UK is an excellent source of high potential early-stage technologies. This new investment will help make the push for full commercialisation, creating real economic growth for the UK in the process.

For more information see the Emerging technologies and industries strategy