Gary Brotman, CEO of Secondmind, a Cambridge-based deep tech company that helps car makers design better cars, faster and achieve sustainability through generative machine learning, welcomes the creation of the dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, but seeks specifics on how this new department will fill the gaps created by the government’s recent decisions to reduce investment in critical programs that have fostered innovation:

“We welcome the creation of a dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to foster innovation, particularly at a time when the UK’s ranking in critical technology sectors like AI (artificial intelligence) is at risk of slipping. The UK appears to be on track to lose its long-standing third-place position on the Global AI Index to Canada this year, with Israel and Singapore not far behind.

“Recent developments such as the R&D tax credit reductions for small businesses; the closure of Tech Nation, an organisation that has proven itself to be essential to the UK’s leadership in emerging technology; and post-Brexit trading business barriers are thwarting the ability of UK start-ups to attract talent and secure investment needed to innovate and grow.

“To ensure the UK is the ‘most innovative economy in the world’, the UK government needs a long-term strategy, a clearly defined execution plan, and funding commensurate with the return expected. And to succeed, the new department will need effective, experienced leadership and experts across the organisation who understand the practical realities and challenges of building new companies and technologies that have the potential to solve tomorrow’s problems.”