Het kader identificeert kritieke technologieën, signaleert de sterke punten en ambities van het VK, stelt investeringen in onderzoek en ontwikkeling voor, vestigt de aandacht op talent en vaardigheden, vraagt om financiering van innovatieve wetenschaps- en technologiebedrijven en meer. Het kader beoogt meer welvaart en veiligheid voor het VK en tegelijkertijd voordelen voor de mondiale samenleving. Elk subdomein bevat ook concrete doelen en acties.

Volledige samenvatting: zie ENG-versie

What: policy framework / Policy orienting document

Impact score: 3

For who: Policy makers, businesses, researchers


Key takeaways for Flanders:

  • The Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology will coordinate initiatives across the government to manage the risks of large language models and generative AI.
  • Interestingly, the framework provides a separate chapter for communication. The government is trying to communicate science & tech to citizens but is also committed to promoting the UK's strengths abroad.
  • The British Department of Education will publish a skills dashboard this year to understand the supply and demand of science en technology skills
  • The government is also working on a systematic approach to dealing with national security risks in terms of international R&D cooperation and inward investment
  • The UK is soon rolling out a network of 21 employer-led Institutes of Technology. Those institutes should offer training tailored to the labour market and current needs.

The government's plan is ambitious and aims to stimulate economic growth through science and technology. The framework consists of 10 sub-domains. The first domain identifies five technologies considered critical by the UK government. Fifty technologies were assessed against criteria such as sustainable development, national security and defence and digital economy. The five critical economies are AI, engineering biology, future telecommunications, semiconductors and quantum technologies. The government will develop a cross-government plan to optimise the science and technology system for each critical technology. Separate strategies are being developed for each of these technologies.

The second chapter focuses on communicating and promoting UK strengths and ambitions. It aims to showcase the UK's world-class research and development capabilities, promote collaboration between academia and industry, and attract inward investment. The chapter highlights the importance of building on existing strengths in science, technology, finance, and innovation to drive prosperity and power for the UK.

In terms of investment in research and development, there should be an increase in public and private investment. There is already a commitment to invest € 23 billion in public R&D investment by 2024-2025 and will roll out a plan to take private investment to the same level as well. Other measures include Rolling out new innovation accelerators and limiting bureaucracy around R&D investment.

The UK further aims to have a skilled workforce in STEM, digital, data, commercialisation and national security and establish competitive advantages in attracting international talent by 2030. They plan to articulate skills gaps and take action to fill them, expand STEM opportunities for a diverse range of people, and provide lifelong training and upskilling opportunities. The Department for Education will collaborate with other government departments to develop a skills dashboard, encourage young people to study maths, and develop the pipeline of individuals entering computing and digital sectors. They will also attract AI leaders and continue rolling out employer-led Institutes of Technology to widen participation at higher technical levels.

The framework also indicates a commitment to work on reducing the financing gap for innovative science and technology companies. It also wishes to increase the supply of domestic capital and nurture the next generation of globally competitive companies by 2030. The government plans to engage with institutional investors, strengthen the pipeline of high-quality businesses, and tackle regional disparities to enable these companies to scale up and remain in the UK.

The Procurement chapter indicates ambitions to use government departments' buying power to stimulate economic growth and innovation. The government will clearly articulate its technology needs through long-term strategies, dedicating a proportion of procurement spending to supporting innovation. Departments will build a portfolio of innovative projects and develop a culture that supports innovation, improved technical expertise, faster procurement, and risk-taking. The Cabinet Office is developing a cross-government action plan with departments, setting a minimum proportion of government procurement expenditure to support innovation, scaling the Small Business Research Initiative, and progressing the Procurement Reform Bill.

In terms of international cooperation, it is interesting to note the work on a systematic approach to dealing with national security risks in terms of international R&D cooperation and inward investment and the further expansion of the UK's network of Tech Envoys. The UK further aims to become a champion of the global technical standards ecosystem and use horizon-scanning capability to support regulators in considering emerging technologies.

The Innovative Public Sector ambitions aim to create a culture within the public sector that supports and rewards innovation, and improves knowledge and resource sharing between government, academia, and businesses. By 2030, there should be improved STEM skills and literacy across all levels of government, interdisciplinary teams for decision-making, and partnerships supporting Levelling Up. The Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology will assess progress against the 2019 Science Capability Review and coordinate initiatives across government to manage the risks of Large Language Models and generative AI. There will also be training for government leaders, diverse technical talent expansion, and public servants' support to test and develop novel ideas.