UK’s new tech department awards first funding

DSIT first funding Image credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The freshly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has awarded its first funding to the Rosalind Franklin Institute, a medical research centre in Oxfordshire.

DSIT was created in a government restructuring earlier this week by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, breaking up the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Former DCMS head Michelle Donelan has been appointed as technology secretary to lead the new tech and innovation department.

“The new department has received a warm welcome from the science, tech and business communities and it’s now my job to use the department to build on our world-leading strengths in AI, life sciences, quantum, fintech, and green technology to deliver tangible and positive change across the UK,” said Donelan.

Based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, the Rosalind Franklin Institute has received an additional £40m funding boost from DSIT.

The medical research centre focuses on the progress of new technology that can aid in health research. It opened in September 2021 after a £103m government investment.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, chief executive of UKRI, said: “The investment in the underpinning engineering and physical sciences research that we are announcing today will help us to diagnose conditions such as Alzheimer’s earlier and arm us against the threat posed by emerging diseases.”

The new department will prioritise quantum computing technology, artificial intelligence, engineering biology, semiconductors,”future telecoms”, life sciences and green technology.