The Conservative party’s manifesto, launched this week, included a wide variety of initiatives to boost tech across a range of sectors within public services and beyond.
With the general election just three weeks away, we take a look at what the Conservative party has pledged to do if it wins power.
1. More public services online
The Conservatives promised to save citizens “time, hassle and money” by moving more public services online, work led by the Government Digital Service. Last year the Cabinet Office said it wants 90 percent of the online public to be using digital public services by 2020.
2. Target for SMEs to get 30 percent of Whitehall spending
The Tories promised to increase the target for SMEs' share of central government contracts to one-third, compared to the existing 25 percent goal.
3. Improve police tech
The party said it would use the ‘Police Innovation Fund’ to push adoption of new technologies, for example better use of mobile devices by police forces.
4. New kit for jails
The manifesto promised the party would use “the latest technology” to improve offender management and introduce new kit into jails, such as body scanners and mobile phone blocking tools.
5. Invest in emerging tech sectors
The party promised to direct more resources towards emerging technology sectors like robotics and nanotechnology.
6. Trial innovative technologies in the NHS
The Tories said they would increase the use of new tech in the NHS to improve care, conducting “large-scale trials of innovative technologies and health services”.
7. Support for startups
The manifesto included a number of proposals to support the startup sector, such as trebling the startup loans initiative, expanding the tech incubator network and offering tax reliefs.
8. Help for new fintech firms
The party promised to help challenger banks and fintech startups, for example, through the British Business Bank.
9. Superfast broadband for 95% of UK by 2017
The Conservatives reiterated their promise to provide superfast broadband coverage to 95 percent of the UK by the end of 2017, revised from an original target of 90 percent by May 2015. The party said it would “provide rural Britain with near universal superfast broadband by the end of the next Parliament”.
10. Increase the tech incubator network
The Tories said they would increase the existing network of ‘catapult’ technology incubators, which were set up in 2012 to support early-stage UK digital tech firms and help them grow.