Potential new UK Prime Minister calls for increased UK technology spending and creating a DARPA equivalent

Michael Gove, the controversial Caledonian Brexiteer is seeking the leadership of the UK Tory Party and thus become the Prime Minister, is calling to “reboot democracy” in a new “start-up nation”.

“The total amount we spend as a nation on research and development is significantly less than countries such as the US and government spending on R and D has been less than the OECD and EU average,” Gove claimed.

I am not an instinctive advocate for higher government spending. But the evidence from the most successful start-up nations – US and Israel – is that thoughtful government investment in science triggers a culture of innovation more widely that generates the businesses of the future.

The internet was a government creation – developed by the American government’s scientific incubator DARPA – and the amazing creativity in Silicon Valley is a function not just of America’s more effective venture capital system but of government leadership.

More and more thinkers have made a compelling case for a leading role for government in creating a more entrepreneurial state. And that must be the right course for Britain – creating our own equivalent to DARPA, providing the capital for new tech innovation and helping the tech sector grow even faster.

The Register claimed the UK had a DARPA equivalent in DERA, the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, which was privatized as QinetiQ. However, DERA never had projects as ambitious as DARPA and nowhere near the $3 billion per year budget of DARPA. QinetiQ has deployed about 2000 Talon robots.

SOURCES- Register UK