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Sector News

Sector News

Open data could revolutionise farming

Open data could revolutionise the farming industry, according to the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Speaking at an Open Data Institute (ODI) Futures event on agriculture, Truss said: “As our population grows so does the demand on our food sources – I don’t see this as a problem, but as a huge opportunity. The UK has always been an early adapter of new technologies and we already feed the world better and more cheaply than in the early 1960s when our population was half the size.”

Manchester IoT project scoops £10m prize

An innovative project in Manchester aimed at improving the services for its residents has been chosen as the winner of a £10m government-led technology competition.

The CityVerve project aims to test better services using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. It includes plans for talkative bus stops, which let bus operators know when commuters are waiting, and a network of sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage people to do more physical activity.

World’s most innovative companies revealed

 Apple and Google once again retain the two top spots in the Boston Consulting Group’s latest annual survey of the world’s most innovative companies. Tesla Motors moved to number three from number seven last year, while Microsoft and Samsung made up the top five.

Non-animal testing technologies: new roadmap for UK industry published

 A new strategy for non-animal testing technologies has been published to help the UK take advantage of its huge market potential.

Non-animal technologies for efficacy and safety could replace the use of animals for testing pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, agrichemicals, chemicals and consumer products. The global market for such technologies is expected to be worth billions of pounds.

Regional science and innovations audits: applications wanted

The government wants to undertake a regional review of the UK’s science capabilities and is inviting applications from organisations to conduct them.

The government said the audits should help local organisations map their research and innovation strengths and identify areas of potential global competitive advantage.

The Unseen: innovator's clothing for sale in Selfridges

A fashion collection featuring new materials technology is now available in Selfridges.

The Unseen blends biological and chemical matter into materials that are designed to ‘enhance the unseen’.

The clothing in the Selfridge’s collection is able to change colour to reflect changes in aerodynamics, moisture and ultra-violet light.

Funding from Innovate UK allowed The Unseen to test out its science and design in the real world.

Countdown for British astronaut's mission to space

On 15 December 2015 Tim Peake will be making history as the first British European Space Agency ESA astronaut on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Tim will be undertaking scientific research during his six month stint aboard the ISS. His mission, Principia, is based on Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica – a book describing the principal laws of motion and gravity.

Midlands Engine Prospectus launched


Eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships come together to pool their ambitions in the Midlands Engine Prospectus – for the first time.

This is:

- supported by £5 million trade and investment package to help promote the Midlands Engine overseas, reach new markets and boost exports

New Enterprise Zones announced


The 2016 Spending Review/Autumn Statement delivered a number of new Enterprise Zones.

In total there will be 44 Enterprise Zones in England – 18 new, 24 existing (of which 8 have extensions), plus Blackpool Airport and Plymouth Enterprise Zones which were previously announced in the Budget that took place in March 2015.

Spending Review - UKSPA Summary

A significant number of announcements were made by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Initial details of some of those affecting the Science and Innovation sector are below.

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement reasserts the government’s firm commitment to the UK remaining at the forefront of world science.