In a short engagement, I looked at the UK’s Internet of Things ecosystem as a Senior Policy Advisor at GDS (the Government Digital Service), part of the Cabinet Office in HM Government.
Over three months in 2015 I was tasked with making recommendations on how GDS could best make use of the still-new ideas and technology of the Internet of Things (IoT), and to contribute to a multi-department bid to Treasury to support the UK’s IoT ecosystem.
The bid was successful, being allocated £40m in the annual Budget:
The chancellor pledged £40m for the internet of things, which allows devices to be controlled by a smartphone or tablet … The £40m will be used for business incubators – spaces dedicated to supporting startups – and research hubs that will develop interconnected technologies for healthcare, social care and the government’s “smart cities” initiative.
My particular contribution was to build the rationale for supporting IoT startups as a vital part of the UK’s technological competitiveness, and to make the case for intervening in the market to encourage IoT-specific startup accelerators and incubators.