03rd March 2021

Julian Rae, Tech Foundry lead partner at Deloitte, comments on the Chancellor’s statement:

 “The Future Fund: Breakthrough scheme, providing £375 million in funding to support innovative and R&D intensive businesses, will not only spark new growth for the UK’s technology scale-ups but also set a new foundation for business growth across the country.

“Investment in technology will be a critical catalyst for the UK’s economic recovery in the coming years. New technologies are urgently needed to solve some the world’s most pressing challenges, such as the transition to net zero. Deloitte research carried out with TechUK found that existing digital technologies have the potential to deliver a 7.3 million tonne reduction in UK carbon emissions and boost economic growth by £13.7bn Gross Value Added (GVA). On top of this, the results that could be generated with the development of new technologies have the potential to be history-making.

“Investment in new technology development must be matched with investment in digital skills training across the UK. The Chancellor’s announcement that 130,000 small and medium-sized enterprises will be supported through the Help to Grow Digital scheme, with free expert training to improve digital skills and aid innovation, is a promising acknowledgement of the importance of upskilling for business of all sizes.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the use of technologies to keep communities connected, businesses functioning and vital public services running. As technology continues to evolve, so must the number of opportunities to reskill the UK’s workforce to ensure that every member of society benefits from technological advancement.”