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Government pledges £88m to help boost the UK’s productivity

Productivity of UK businesses is set to be supercharged with £88 million in new government investment via the creation of a state-of-the-art Productivity Institute and the ‘ExCALIBUR’ project. 

Government pledges £88m to help boost the UK’s productivity
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£88m to help boost the UK’s productivity
  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • October 10, 2019
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The government has announced an £88 million investment to help close the productivity gap between UK and major world economies and turbocharge British businesses.

The funds are aimed to help businesses adopt new technologies and more efficient business practices in order to boost productivity. This is also expected to help them scale up and expand into new markets – increasing competition and ultimately benefiting consumers with lower prices or better quality products and services. 

Government investment of £43 million will support top researchers and analysts to explore how to turbocharge UK productivity levels through a new ambitious Productivity Institute; tackling barriers such as productivity imbalances between sectors and regions, poor management practices and skills investment. According to the government, experts will work closely with businesses to power the UK towards a more competitive and resilient economy. 

The announcement comes as ministers visit new infrastructure projects across the country to highlight government investment in connectivity.

"Productivity matters – if we produce more, we can earn more, as individuals and as a society," said Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom.

"Today’s investment will allow us to develop pioneering software to harness the power of supercomputers and create a state-of-the-art Productivity Institute."

The remaining £45 million will be specifically invested by the government into the development of cutting-edge supercomputer software, set to transform whole sectors from agriculture and advanced aerospace to Formula One and pharmaceuticals with hyper-accurate weather predictions – helping them plan come rain or shine and in turn boost their productivity.  

Named ‘ExCALIBUR’, the project will ensure the UK can meet the scientific and engineering challenges of the future with maximum efficiency and safeguard future industry productivity.

"The ExCALIBUR project will establish a national capability in scientific computer software that mirror the real world, accelerating advances in a wide range of important areas that rely on cutting-edge computer technology: from climate prediction to drug research and nuclear fusion," Met Office director of meteorological science, Simon Vosper.

The £88 million funding forms part of the government’s Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF), and follows the its commitment to invest at least 2.4 per cent of GDP in R&D by 2027.

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