David Cameron has invested £73m in a government fund to research the Internet of Things, claiming the concept to spur a ‘new industrial revolution’.
The UK Prime Minister also revealed a new European Internet of Things grant fund, valued at up to £1mn, for companies taking advantage of the opportunities offered in this emerging field of technology.
The ‘Internet of Things’ is used to refer to a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Research firm Gartner predicts there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the internet of things by 2020.
‘New industrial revolution’
Speaking at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, Cameron said he wanted to turn the Internet of Things “from a slogan into a fact”.
Cameron has also tasked the Government’s chief scientific advisor to explore what actions need to be taken for the UK to make this happen.
Cameron said the world was on the brink of a “new industrial revolution” that he wanted the UK and Germany to lead.
“I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development, a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change,” said Cameron.
“This is a world on fast forward, a world of permanent technological revolution, and in this world countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive fornew ideas and innovations,” he added.
Cameron said in the UK, the Government and telecoms regulator Ofcom were putting infrastructure in place to take a more flexible approach to the use of the radio spectrum.
“As our Spectrum Strategy will set out…we aim to double the economic benefits of spectrum to UK companies and consumers from roughly £50 billion today, to £100 billion in 2025,” he said.
Cameron concluded by seeking to reaffirm the UK Government’s commitment to collaboration with Germany in driving forward the Internet of Things.
“Take British ingenuity in software, services and design, add German excellence in engineering and industrial manufacturing, and together we can lead in this new revolution,” he said.