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The UK’s science and technology superpower agenda

It’s been a busy week in UK government, unveiling plans for The Science and Technology Framework, a strategic vision which sets out ten key actions to achieve this goal by 2030. The forward to the framework says the 'UK must attract the best talent from around the world, build a skilled workforce for tomorrow's industries, provide infrastructure and investment to bring technologies to market, and encourage a regulatory environment that supports innovation.'

This is an ambitious plan and includes massive investment in research and development, including the announcement of over £370 million worth of fresh investment into research and critical technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and engineering biology with the aim of tackling some of the key priorities of the British people.

Luke Patterson. Analyst, EthicsGrade comments “The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has set out the UK Science and Technology Framework. This is part of its ‘science and technology superpower agenda’. The paper calls for a regulatory approach to tech that is 'pro innovation'. This should ring alarm bells. What is really needed is a regulatory approach that is 'pro responsible innovation'.

“The framework focuses on tech as a major driver of prosperity and power. It gives the impression that the government is more focused on winning an international tech race than making sure that every technological innovation is vetted prior to its implementation to ensure responsible innovation. Up until now the government has been forced to implement a retrospective damage limitation approach and the framework needs to change this.”

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