Earlier this week, DSIT and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) published a brand new roadmap to become a technology "superpower" in the next seven years via an International Technology Strategy.
James Cleverly, the Secretary of State at the FCDO and Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State at DSIT, launched the Strategy in London, outlining the Government’s ambition to build on the UK’s strong technology sector.
This document is a follow-on from the Integrated Review Refresh 2023, which laid out the Government’s ambitions for science and technology. Despite already being one of the world’s leading technology innovators, the Review outlined plans to solidify the UK’s global position, and this new Strategy focuses on how this will be achieved.
Principles and actions
The Strategy aims to be ‘open’, ‘responsible', ‘secure’ and ‘resilient’ to drive innovation and leadership, while also securing the country from current and future threats.
The document also states that the Government will:
- Work collaboratively with other international governments, academia and the technology industry to develop partnerships.
- Seek to appoint envoys to create an expansive technology diplomacy network.
- Support a new Technology Centre of Expertise, to bring experts from across academia, the private and public sectors to engage with countries in efforts to transform their economies.
- Engage with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum and the Council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to better understand efforts to reach out to the international community.
- Deliver new solutions to global challenges with FCDO R&D investment.
- Promote UK exports and attract foreign direct investment in the UK.
Acknowledging that the UK can’t be a world leader in all technologies, it will look to focus efforts on emerging technologies which are already strong or have potential in the country. The Strategy’s priority technologies, which will all be underpinned and enabled by data, include:
- Quantum technologies: The home to "world-leading" quantum start-ups via the National Quantum Technologies Programme.
- Engineering biology: European leaders in research investment at more than £500 million since 2010.
- AI: The “partner of choice” internationally, demonstrated by the US-UK Declaration of Cooperation in AI R&D.
- Semiconductors: Playing a vital role in next-generation areas such as net zero and 6G.
- Telecoms: Strengthening the UK’s security framework via the Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021.
The Government is aware that it needs to have clear diplomatic techniques to execute its priority areas, and will do so by engaging in:
- Science and technology diplomacy: Investing in the FCDO's Global Science networks and expanding technology envoys.
- Regulatory diplomacy: Bringing Government, bodies and the industry together to influence regulation and standards.
- Cyber diplomacy: Growing its network of cyber officers, programmes and technology dialogues.
- Trade diplomacy: Supporting UK exports, attracting foreign direct investment and promoting the UK as a global technology capital.
- Defence diplomacy: Increasing collaboration between academia, the industry and Government.
- Development diplomacy: Delivering local technology innovations to bridge the digital divide.
If you have any questions about the Government’s new International Technology Strategy, do feel free to let us know.