Artificial intelligence and data economy

In the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) these challenges aim to put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming many industries, including the creative sector, the service sector, and security.

Audience of the future

This challenge has invested £33 million in the development of new immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality that will create striking new experiences to capture the public’s imagination.

It has invested in:

  • a £16 million demonstrator programme of immersive experiences including a Royal Shakespeare Company project to stream live performances to mobile phones and extended reality headsets
  • an immersive technology investment accelerator to support early stage businesses
  • 21 projects developing faster, more efficient immersive content
  • support for 32 projects exploring human-centred design.

Commercialising quantum technologies

This challenge supports researchers to turn quantum science into the new products and services that could transform a range of sectors including automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, telecommunications, cybersecurity and defence.

Around £20 million was invested in 2018 in projects to establish how quantum technologies could be used to create the products and services of the future. The challenge now has £150 million to support projects that help the UK quantum industry to grow. It will be matched by a £205 million investment from industry.

Projects funded so far include investigating the use of quantum sensors to detect objects underground and use of quantum technologies to ensure more secure encryption of data.

Read more about the commercialising quantum technologies challenge.

Creative industries clusters

This challenge is helping to grow the £100 billion-a-year UK creative economy by supporting clusters of creative research and development across the country.

It has invested in:

  • nine creative industries clusters that bring together creatives (in fashion, film and television, informatics, design, computer games, performance and immersive technology) with the brightest academic minds
  • the StoryFutures Academy, a new national centre for immersive storytelling run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London
  • the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which will help development of policies for UK creative industries.

Digital security by design

This challenge aims to overcome the market failures and radically update the insecure digital computing infrastructure that underpins the UK economy.

It has up to £70 million to invest in technology platforms and support for software development and business-led demonstrators. The funding is matched by £117 million from industry.

The programme has funded Arm to develop a technology platform prototype and enable software companies and hardware developers to make extensive use of secured digital products and services that will accelerate the digital transformation of industry.

Read more about the digital security by design challenge.

Next generation services

This challenge is supporting the UK’s service industries to use technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics to develop the next generation of services.

It has invested £20 million in projects that:

  • explore how these technologies could transform the UK accountancy, insurance and legal industries
  • develop responsible data access or sharing methods
  • investigate behavioural and socio-technical barriers to adoption of artificial intelligence and data technologies.

Last updated: 15 January 2021

NOTEThis is the first phase of our new website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.