UK government announces industry-funded AI postgrads, training centres

UK government announces industry-funded AI postgrads, training centres

Ciarán Daly

February 21, 2019

2 Min Read

LONDON - In an unprecedented development for AI skills and training, the UK will soon have a nationwide programme of industry-funded postgraduate courses in AI, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today.

As part of the Industrial Strategy's AI Sector Deal launched last year, the new AI skills and talent package will combine industry investment with up to £110 million (GBP) of government funding for a raft of initiatives designed to grow British AI expertise. The proposals will include:

  • up to 200 new AI Masters places at UK universities will be funded by companies including Cisco, DeepMind, BAE Systems, and more in collaboration with the Institute of Coding and the British Computer Society

  • 1000 students will be able to pursue PhDs at 16 purpose-built UK Research and Innovation AI Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) at universities across the country

  • 5 AI research fellowships will be formed in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute to attract research talent worldwide

The Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark, said: "This AI skills and talent investment will help nurture leading UK and international talent to ensure we retain our world-beating reputation in research and development."

Related: AI - From Alan Turing To The Industrial Strategy

"Artificial intelligence has great potential to drive up productivity and enhance every industry throughout our economy, from more effective disease diagnosis to building smart homes. Today's announcement is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, investing in skills and talent to drive high-skilled jobs, growth, and productivity across the UK."

The UK's plans are comparable to other government-led initiatives in other nations. China accounts for 17 of the top 20 academic institutions involved in patenting AI, as well as 48% of all start-up funding. Meanwhile, President Trump recently launched the 'American AI Initiative', which will see federal agencies dedicating more resources and investments to AI research, promotion, and training.

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