As of Friday 10th February, the government has confirmed that the new Science, Innovation and Technology secretary Michelle Donelan has been given a dedicated seat at the Cabinet table, which is music to the ears of the Plexal team.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave his first speech of 2023 at Plexal and called for a “more innovative economy” and Sir Keir Starmer gave his speech a day later at Here East’s UCL – the building opposite Plexal – to applaud innovators and startups.
News of Michelle Donelan’s seat follows this week’s earlier announcement of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), which she says is designed to “spur stronger growth, better jobs and bold new discoveries.” This aligns fully with the Prime Minister’s January advocacy for all things innovation.
For the uninitiated, Plexal is the innovation company solving society’s challenges and our mission is to close the gap between organisations through collaboration – with government, startups, industry and academia. Working towards a common goal, we’re using science and technology to unlock innovation, delivering prosperity and ensuring national security.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been a longstanding Plexal partner, with which we’ve delivered innovation programmes such as LORCA and Cyber Runway, so we’re excited about the next evolution of digital recognition with DSIT.
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan says: “Science and technology has the potential to change our world beyond recognition and improve all our lives. A brand new and dedicated department for Science, Innovation and Technology is key to the Government’s plan to grow the economy – generating better, well paid jobs and driving improvements in health, education and transportation.
“The new department has received a warm welcome from the science, tech and business communities and it’s now my job to use the department to build on our world leading strengths in AI, life sciences, quantum, fintech, and green technology to deliver tangible and positive change across the UK.”
Delighted by the news, our CEO Andrew Roughan adds: “The Cabinet reshuffle and introduction of the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is a key stepping stone in making the UK a true technology and science superpower. The vision set out by the Prime Minister in his speech at our Plexal headquarters last month is coming to life, and we’re pleased to see the rhetoric is now being supported with clear action to help grow the UK’s innovation economy.
“We’re hopeful this new departmental structure will open up even more opportunities for the UK’s public sector to more actively collaborate with our fast-growing and innovative startup economy – improving public sector services and unlocking opportunities for emerging businesses.
“By focusing on innovation and technological advancement, the Government is showing a commitment to reinvent the structures of our public sector and fundamentally reset them around the changing needs of the country. Our tech economy is amongst our strongest assets, and if channelled properly, we can use the innovation we’ve developed over the past decade to solve some of the biggest societal and economic challenges we face.
“The directive from the top of government is clear, and at Plexal we look forward to working with the new department to unlock the full potential of the UK’s startup ecosystem to fulfil the innovation agenda.”