Photonics and the Budget

Measures in the budget of high relevance to UK photonics industry include:-

An Additional £2.3bn in 2021-2022 for research and development funding.  This is an extension of the national productivity investment fund program to 2021-22 not an increase in earlier years. Announced R&D funding under NPIF (inc industrial challenge fund) now:.

2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
£425m 820m £1500m £2000m £2345m New

Funding will support immersive tech for creative content, new AI and machine learning, productivity in construction, retention and growth of research talent.  Further details in industry strategy white paper scheduled for 27/11.

£145m for AI, geo-spatial, and data for 2018-2020, including AI fellowships and 450 AI PhD places and expansion of Techcity to 13 additional regional hubs (included or add to above unclear)

£765m over 2017-2021 into the industrial strategy challenge fund, including £190 million Challenge Fund that local areas around the country will bid for to encourage faster roll-out of full-fibre networks

Change immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and to apply for settlement in UK after 3 years. Relaxing labour of market test and expansion of exception talent immigration routes for same.

Patient capital measures aiming to attract additional £20bn in long-term investment in high growth innovative business over 10 years.  Including £2.5bn investment fund from British Business Bank, doubling EIS annual allowances, supporting pension fund investment in innovation and a new £85m national security strategic investment fund supporting adv tech for national security.  Further details in Gov. response to Financing growth in Innovative firms

R&D expenditure tax credit increased from 11% to 12% from 1/1/2018

Business rates to be indexed to CPI (currently 3%), from RPI (4%) from April 2018.

Industry strategy white paper due 27/11 will further expand on the active role gov will take in working in partnership with private sector with first set of sector deals.

Further detail is in the full budget documents

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