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UK splashes £70m on new future telecoms technologies
Fri, 6th Oct 2023

The UK Government has invested 70 million pounds in the Future Telecoms UKRI Technology Missions Fund to turbocharge the development of new telecommunications technology.

The new investment will support ambitions to become a global leader in 6G technology, improving the capacity and speeds of data transfer and improving the energy efficiency in networks through cloudification.

The research and development in telecoms aim to benefit the public by improving internet coverage across the country, reducing energy consumption, and enabling the universal rollout of self-driving cars to be possible.

Alongside the investment, the UK has joined a new global coalition to bolster telecoms security, resilience and innovation. The UK joins Australia, Canada, Japan and the US as part of the new Global Coalition on Telecommunications (GCOT).

The coalition will help ensure communications networks remain resilient amidst supply chain disruption and cyber attacks.

Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator, says, "The critical telecommunications issues of today are global in scope.

"This groundbreaking coalition will help the U.S. and our partners respond decisively to cross-border opportunities and challenges. By working ever more closely together, the Coalition members will advance secure, diverse, resilient, and innovative telecommunications networks around the world."Universities and businesses across the UK will lead projects that bring new, game-changing ideas to the market which could benefit the public by improving internet coverage, supporting the universal rollout of self-driving cars, and reducing energy use in our growing digital world.

Responding to the news Derek Mackenzie, CEO of Investigo, part of The IN Group, says: "Telecommunications networks are the lifeblood of economic activity, connecting businesses and driving productivity. 

"However, there is no point in investing millions into this technology, if you do not have the next generation of skilled workers in place who can develop and improve it," he says. 

"That is why these new University-led research hubs will play such a crucial role in equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive, giving the United Kingdom a robust talent pipeline for the long term," Mackenzie says.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, adds, "This historic partnership reflects our shared commitment to harnessing the power of telecommunications for the benefit of our nations and the world at large. 

"Telecommunications networks are the lifeline of global economies, and safeguarding their resilience and security in an evolving, interconnected world is a top priority for our governments," she says.

"By joining forces, the UK and our partners are well-positioned to take the lead in broadening supply chains, nurturing industry knowledge, and bolstering security to address emerging challenges."