UK Invests £118 Million to Propel AI Innovation and Expertise


  • UK government allocates £118 million for AI skills development.
  • Twelve Centres for Doctoral Training in AI to receive £117 million funding.
  • New visa scheme to attract early-career AI researchers to the UK.
  • £1 million grants scheme to facilitate top AI talent relocation.
  • 15 scholarships for international students studying Science and Technology in the UK.
  • Launch of ‘Backing Invisible Geniuses’ scholarship pilot for high-school performers in STEM.
  • Introduction of a dedicated visa scheme for talented AI researchers.
  • Additional £8.1 million for postgraduate course scholarships in AI and data science.
  • Wider AI initiatives include NHS trusts benefiting from £21 million AI tech rollout, AI tool for JobCentre support, funding for AI in education, AI-enhanced weather forecasting, and a regulatory sandbox for AI innovation.
  • International standards for AI in healthcare to ensure equitable use.

Main AI News:

In a bold move to secure its place at the forefront of the global AI race, the United Kingdom is set to supercharge its AI skills base with a substantial £118 million injection into skills funding. This strategic investment, announced by the government on Tuesday, October 31st, is poised to fortify the nation’s position as a leader in AI expertise and cultivate the next wave of researchers, primed to harness the transformative power of this cutting-edge technology.

This substantial commitment includes the unveiling of a dozen new Centres for Doctoral Training in AI, recipients of £117 million in government backing administered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). In addition to this, a novel visa scheme is poised to streamline the process for innovative businesses to attract promising AI researchers early in their careers to the UK.

These initiatives complement an array of measures aimed at fostering AI innovation across the nation. Among these measures are 15 science and technology scholarships granted to exceptional students at renowned UK universities. Furthermore, a £1 million grants scheme is designed to facilitate the relocation of top AI talents to the UK, while a pioneering STEM Olympiad scholarship program, known as ‘Backing Invisible Geniuses,’ will be piloted. Building on these, an additional £8.1 million has been allocated to postgraduate course scholarships in AI and data science.

The rapid evolution of AI necessitates a steadfast commitment to nurturing top-tier AI research talent, particularly in critical areas like AI safety. This strategic approach ensures that the entire nation can harness the potential unlocked by AI and reap its myriad benefits.

Secretary of State Michelle Donelan emphasizes the UK’s leading role in leveraging AI’s vast potential to enhance the quality of life and productivity, all while prioritizing safety, ethics, and responsibility. The plans unveiled today solidify the nation’s skills base, enabling British citizens to fully embrace the ongoing development of AI. Simultaneously, the government is taking proactive steps to harness the power of AI for the greater good of government and society.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, CEO of UKRI, asserts that the UK is uniquely positioned to harness AI’s potential across diverse facets of life. Crucial to this endeavor is nurturing talented individuals and teams capable of applying AI to a wide range of challenges, from healthcare to agriculture. These efforts are designed to ensure responsible and trustworthy AI adoption.

In addition to bolstering AI skills, the government is introducing a suite of measures aimed at unleashing AI’s potential to revolutionize our work processes and enhance our quality of life. This includes the identification of 64 NHS trusts across the UK set to benefit from a £21 million AI technology rollout, revolutionizing the use of chest X-rays and CT scans for diagnosing serious conditions like lung cancer. Plans to employ AI in enhancing teacher productivity and JobCentre work coaching are also underway, aiming to improve educational attainment and job placement.

This announcement precedes the AI Safety Summit, taking place at Bletchley Park from November 1st to November 2nd, underscoring the UK’s commitment to global leadership in managing AI risks. Collaborating with international partners, the UK aims to harness the vast potential of this transformative technology.

The comprehensive AI skills package unveiled today includes:

  • The identification of 12 new UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in AI, benefiting from £117 million in government funding. These centers will train the next generation of researchers, ensuring they are well-versed in responsible, trustworthy, and safe AI, with a focus on priority areas like healthcare and productivity enhancement in the NHS.
  • The establishment of a £1 million AI Futures Grants scheme to support emerging AI leaders in relocating to the UK, further solidifying the nation’s status as a global hub for top AI talent.
  • Collaboration with the British Council and UK Universities to fund 15 GREAT scholarships for international students, fostering excellence in Science and Technology courses, including those related to AI and life sciences.
  • The launch of the ‘Backing Invisible Geniuses’ (BIG) scholarship pilot, championed by the Global Talent Lab, which targets outstanding high-school performers in International Science Olympiads. This initiative aims to attract top STEM talent to the UK’s leading universities.
  • The introduction of a dedicated visa scheme for the world’s most talented AI researchers, encouraging them to build their careers, ideas, and businesses in the UK early in their careers.
  • These initiatives build upon the £8.1 million available for postgraduate course scholarships in AI and data science, bringing the total funding for these scholarships to £26 million since 2020. This has resulted in the creation of over 2,600 scholarships, specifically targeting disadvantaged groups across 31 higher education providers.

In addition to these skills-focused measures, a range of wider AI initiatives is set to further enhance the UK’s AI landscape:

  • The identification of 64 NHS trusts poised to benefit from a £21 million AI technology rollout, enhancing the diagnostic capabilities of chest X-rays and CT scans.
  • The pilot of ‘A-cubed,’ an AI tool designed to support work coaches in ‘Jobcentres for the Future,’ improving assistance for job seekers.
  • Up to £2 million allocated to Oak National Academy to explore new applications of AI in education, reducing the time educators spend on planning and improving lesson resources.
  • The Met Office’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, utilizing AI to advance weather forecasting, thereby enhancing the UK’s resilience to extreme weather events.
  • The introduction of the ‘Airlock’ regulatory sandbox, facilitating safe testing of AI technologies in healthcare and expediting their implementation for the benefit of NHS patients.
  • The launch of internationally recognized standards for the use of AI in healthcare, ensuring that this technology serves all, irrespective of their background.

These strategic measures underscore the UK’s unwavering commitment to harnessing AI’s transformative potential while prioritizing responsible and ethical development. In doing so, the nation stands poised to lead the world in AI innovation and its wide-reaching benefits.


The substantial £118 million investment by the UK government in AI skills development and innovation underscores its commitment to maintaining a leading role in the global AI landscape. This strategic move not only ensures the country’s future competitiveness but also positions the UK as an attractive destination for top AI talent. With a focus on ethical AI adoption and diverse applications across sectors, this investment is poised to drive significant advancements in AI technology and its benefits for society and the economy.