AI and Quantum Research Take Center Stage in UK Science and Tech Announcements


  • The UK government has boosted AI investment by £500 million over two years, totaling £1.5 billion.
  • Quantum research to focus on ambitious “moonshot missions,” including quantum computers and advanced quantum networks.
  • Significant funding was allocated to the UK space sector and life sciences manufacturing.
  • Tax credit changes aim to support R&D-intensive companies.
  • Positive outlook for the growth and innovation in the UK science and technology sectors.

Main AI News:

In the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which was delivered on Wednesday, the spotlight shone on artificial intelligence and quantum research. Jeremy Hunt, speaking on behalf of the government, unveiled plans to bolster funding for computing power dedicated to advancing AI by an additional £500 million over a two-year period. This move elevates the total planned investment in AI to a substantial £1.5 billion. The decision was spurred by previous criticism of the comparatively modest £900 million allocated for AI computing in the March Budget, which fell short of international standards, with other nations committing significantly more significant sums to this field.

Rashik Parmar, the Chief Executive of the British Computer Society, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “It’s great to hear that the government will find a further £500 million over the next two years to fund further innovation centers to help make us an AI powerhouse.”

Simultaneously, the government unveiled its ambitious “moonshot missions” as part of the £2.5 billion national quantum strategy. These missions encompass developing UK-based quantum computers capable of executing a staggering 1 trillion operations without any errors—an impressive leap from today’s fastest machines, which can manage only a few hundred error-free operations. Additionally, the strategy aims to pioneer “the world’s most advanced quantum network at scale,” paving the way for the future quantum internet.

Chris Ballance, Chief Executive of UK quantum start-up Oxford Ionics, remarked, “It is much more than headline pledges; it’s a call to arms. The government is sending a clear signal of the UK’s unwavering commitment to becoming a leader in the quantum revolution.

Beyond AI and quantum advancements, the Autumn Statement allocated £121 million to the UK space sector for various infrastructure investments in Earth observation and communication technology. A notable portion of this funding, in partnership with aerospace company Lockheed Martin, will enable Northumbria University in Newcastle to establish a £50 million North East Space Skills and Technology Centre.

In a significant move welcomed by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, the government pledged a £520 million investment in life sciences manufacturing for the fiscal year 2025-26. Additionally, changes to research and development tax credits were announced, with the government projecting that these adjustments would provide relief worth an additional £280 million annually.

Steve Bates, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association, lauded the enhanced flexibility in the tax relief scheme for R&D-intensive companies, asserting that it would significantly impact company growth, job creation, and the expedited delivery of new medicines to patients.

Sarah Main, Executive Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, offered a comprehensive perspective on the Autumn Statement, stating, “I’m encouraged by the ideas that emerged. They show government thinking creatively about new ways to support science in the long term and seeding support across the breadth of the science economy.


The UK’s substantial investment in AI, quantum research, space technology, and life sciences manufacturing demonstrates a commitment to innovation and technological advancement. These investments are likely to foster growth and competitiveness in the UK’s science and technology market, positioning it as a leader in these critical fields. Businesses in these sectors should seize the opportunities arising from these investments to stay at the forefront of technological progress.