Industrial Strategy Sets Artificial Intelligence and Data Economy Grand Challenge

Published on: 1st December 2017

Earlier this week, the UK Government published the Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future, described by the Prime Minister as a strategy that “heralds a new approach to how government and business can work together to shape a stronger, fairer economy”.

Outlining the current global technological revolution as “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds”, the Strategy puts the UK at the forefront of this revolution, laying out AI & Data Economy as one of four Grand Challenges.

Evidence has been taken from the Government’s Green Paper consultation to develop the Grand Challenges, with input from scientific leaders at the Government Office for Science, UK Research and Innovation (the Research Councils and Innovate UK), the Council for Science and Technology and the national academies.

The Grand Challenges are:

  • AI & Data Economy
  • Clean Growth
  • Future of Mobility
  • Ageing Society

Citing that one in three children born in the UK today can expect to live to 100, the Strategy commits to harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society:

“We will leverage our health data to improve health outcomes and UK leadership in life sciences. The NHS generates powerful datasets that could be harnessed in a safe, fair and secure manner to develop 55 new tools to diagnose and treat illness earlier. In response to Professor Sir John Bell’s life sciences review, the government will be working to develop a number of regional Digital Innovation Hubs. These hubs will support the use of data for research purposes within the strict parameters set by the National Data Guardian. Health and social care are devolved but the technological challenges and benefits can be supported and seized across the UK. Through the Industrial Strategy ‘Data to early diagnostics and precision medicine’ programme, we will invest to continue to explore the application of data for better, more innovative health and care.”

Learn more about the UK’s Industrial Strategy at or read the strategy in full by downloading the PDF.


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