Sadiq Khan urged to 'lean in hard' on knife crime by Malthouse

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Kit Malthouse insists harnessing the UK’s tech prowess will not only create thousands of new jobs but help improve public services.

Below, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster says that future technologies will also help alleviate pressure on the NHS  and make our streets safer.

Boris Johnson yesterday hailed the UK’s position as a “science superpower” with the government having already pumped £22 billion into British science.

And the Prime Minister vowed the new Advanced Research Agency will “crack the big problems of our time, from dementia to zero carbon aviation.”

“In the first quarter of this year the UK attracted more venture capital investment in technology than China,” he wrote in a Sunday newspaper article.

“We have more tech investment than France, Germany and Israel combined and we produce a new billion-pound ‘unicorn’ company roughly every two weeks.

“These new ideas are blooming not just in the golden triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London but across the whole UK as we drive forward our levelling up agenda.”

Earlier this month two major reports warned that the government’s plans for science and technology will fail without a greater focus on results and more spending on research and development.

The cross-party House of Lords science and technology committee criticised the “lack of an overarching plan for the strategic development of UK science and technology” and warned that “science superpower” would remain an empty slogan unless the new prime minister “shift[ed] the focus to implementation and delivery”.

Its report was echoed by one from the centre-right think-tank Onward, which urged the successor to outgoing premier Boris Johnson to “be more assertive at targeting R&D spending into areas of strategic strength” and was endorsed by several prominent Conservative MPs and former ministers.

Mr Malthouse agreed “specific plans” need to be in place and said investing more in science and technology will help “answer the difficult questions of tomorrow.”

“Science and technology must be at the heart of igniting the economic recovery post covid, boosting growth and creating new jobs, as well as improving public services, making our streets safer, and tackling the pressures on our NHS.

“First though, we need to make choices about the key technologies. Areas like AI, quantum technologies, engineering biology, future telecoms and semiconductors hold out particular promise where we already have strength.

“They will need specific plans, including how they will be developed across our regions, and how to incentivise our partners in the private sector.

“While our focus should be on our actions today, we must also remain open to what the future holds. Only by embracing this and harnessing science will we answer the difficult questions of tomorrow.”

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