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Innovation and New Technologies

Volume 683: debated on Tuesday 10 November 2020

What recent steps his Department has taken to support the growth of innovation and new technologies. (908532)

This Government are fully committed to unleashing innovation and supporting priority technologies. For example, combined public and private investment in the National Quantum Technologies Programme over its 10-year lifetime is set to pass the £1 billion mark. We are investing £750 million through Innovate UK to support innovative businesses through the pandemic and have also launched the future fund.

I welcome the Minister’s response. Does she agree more broadly that the UK should retain key technology assets where there is a national interest and that Arm Ltd’s capabilities in semiconductor and chip design, including processes for mobile phones, have national security implications? If she agrees, can she, her Department and the Government do more to protect the national interest in the proposed sale of Arm by SoftBank to Nvidia?

Arm is an important part of the UK tech sector and makes a significant contribution to the UK economy. Although acquisitions are primarily a commercial matter for the parties concerned, the Government monitor them closely. When a takeover may have a significant impact on the UK, we will not hesitate to investigate further and take action. We will be scrutinising the deal carefully to understand its impact on the UK.