Minister outlines plans for 'tech nation' Britain


Driverless buses and virtual reality teaching by Nobel laureates are among proposed schemes to make the UK a "tech nation", according to a minister.

Ed Vaizey said the schemes formed part of the Government's strategy for innovation in digital technology over the next five years.

The culture minister added all departments "across government" would be included in the plans.

Writing in the Times, he said: "We want the UK to be synonymous with digital, a place where technology transforms day-to-day life.

"The potential impact is profound. It might mean that the best educators from around the world are made accessible to all - with virtual reality sets bringing Nobel laureates into the classroom. That we can build better houses, faster. That more power is given to to the patient, and the care we provide for our elderly and sick is improved and made more affordable.

"That we use driverless robotic buses in rural communities or help people to find parking places using GPS technology.

"When people want to start a digital business, trial new ways of working or invest in cutting-edge technology, we want them to choose the UK. This revolution is here to stay, and the UK as the 'Tech Nation' is the future we want to build."

The plan will seek to follow the example set by east London's booming Tech City, launched by David Cameron in Shoreditch in 2010.

A recent global study by the World Economic Forum said London was the "epicentre" of the European technology and start-up scene.

Self-driving cars have already been tested on UK roads, with the first government-backed trials beginning earlier this year in Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Coventry.