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Chancellor presents £23bn innovation boost

UK chancellor Philip Hammond has announced the creation of a £23 billion (€27.2bn) fund to support applied R&D, transport and digital infrastructure over the next five years.

Delivering his first autumn statement in the House of Commons on 23 November, Hammond said that the so-called National Productivity Investment Fund would include £4.7bn for R&D, to be administered largely by the innovation agency Innovate UK.

Part of this funding would be channelled into a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support targeted technologies. This fund will be modelled on the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme, in which researchers respond to challenges set by policymakers, although it will not be targeted at defence research.

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